Troughton is ready to scratch and claw away in yet another derby

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LIAM MOSES

THE Cape’s high­est placed and low­est-placed teams will lock horns this week­end as round five of the NFD throws up two derby clashes.

Eighth-placed San­tos will host sixth-placed Stel­len­bosch FC at Parow Park to­day, while sec­ond-from-bot­tom Mi­lano United face last­placed Cape Town All Stars at Athlone Sta­dium tomorrow.

San­tos are des­per­ate to re­dis­cover the form that saw them open the sea­son with a 2-1 win against Mbombela United, after slump­ing to a 2-1 loss to Black Leop­ards be­fore fight­ing from two goals down to draw 3-3 against All Stars last week­end. Mean­while, Stel­len­bosch are on an up­ward curve, with two con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries fol­low­ing two con­sec­u­tive de­feats.

“They’re the op­po­site to us; they started well and have faded away a lit­tle. But in derby games you can’t re­ally take form into ac­count,” Stel­len­bosch coach Sammy Troughton said about The Peo­ple’s Team.

“They may have strug­gled a bit lately but I know come Satur­day, they will be up for it and ready for a scrap if it needs to be a scrap and we must be the same, be­cause if we’re not then we will be caught out.”

Stel­len­bosch started with 3-1 and 2-1 de­feats to Mthatha Bucks and the Univer­sity of Pretoria re­spec­tively, but re­bounded with re­spec­tive 2-0 and 2-1 vic­to­ries over Ma­gesi FC and Royal Ea­gles. Ac­cord­ing to Troughton, ex­pec­ta­tions are high for the newly-formed side, but the num­ber of der­bies could make life dif­fi­cult.

“I al­ways say it’s dif­fi­cult for a Cape team to win this league be­cause they kill each other. There are eight derby games in ev­ery­one’s cal­en­dar and it tends to be a tight game, very com­pet­i­tive, and a bit of a lev­eller some­times,” he says.

“You can’t ig­nore the derby fac­tor. You have to take it on board, look for­ward to it and pre­pare your play­ers for it. I’ll do that to make sure we don’t lose our heads and get over-ex­cited. We have to be to­tally focused to take on San­tos.”

Else­where, Mi­lano and All Stars will look to climb off the foot of the ta­ble at the ex­pense of one another. Eezy My Kinnes have lost all four of their games and slumped to a 4-0 thrash­ing against Leop­ards in their last match. In All Stars, Mi­lano face a side who have been lively in at­tack, but paid heav­ily for their de­fen­sive lapses.

Mi­lano head coach Boe­bie Solomons feels his side can take ad­van­tage after their drub­bing in Tho­hoyan­dou last week. “We feel good and we would like to bounce back. We will be on home soil, play­ing in our con­di­tions, so we should fare bet­ter,” Solomons said.

“We fared very well in the past cou­ple of games be­fore the Leop­ards match. All the other games we’ve played, we’ve fared very well. It’s just that un­for­tu­nately we didn’t win those games, but we played very well.

“So that is a very pos­i­tive sign for me, be­cause had we played badly and lost then I would have been a very wor­ried man. It’s just a mat­ter of a lapse of con­cen­tra­tion that made us lose.”

The Cape’s fifth NFD team, FC Cape Town, will visit AmaZulu at the Princess Ma­gogo Sta­dium in Dur­ban tomorrow. Fix­tures To­day: San­tos v Stel­len­bosch FC, Parow Park, 3pm. Tomorrow : AmaZulu v FC Cape Town, Mi­lano United AFC v Cape Town All Stars, Athlone Sta­dium (all 3pm).

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