The slog through the NFD mire con­tin­ues for Cape strug­glers

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

CAPE TOWN’S low­est-placed NFD teams face an up­hill bat­tle this week­end to drag them­selves away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

San­tos and Cape Town All Stars are 14th and 15th re­spec­tively and must win to avoid sink­ing fur­ther into the mire. How­ever, with The Peo­ple’s Team host­ing free- scor­ing league- lead­ers Thanda Royal Zulu to­day and All Stars vis­it­ing Jomo Cos­mos to­mor­row, even draws may be hard to come by.

All Stars won their first game of the sea­son against Mthatha Bucks last week. Igugu Lekapa have looked dan­ger­ous in at­tack, but have con­ceded the most goals (13).

They have also strug­gled for con­sis­tency in their coach­ing staff, and have al­ready parted ways with two head coaches. As­sis­tant coach Dy­lan Deane will take charge of his third match this sea­son and says the young side is ma­tur­ing.

“We have a very young team so a lot of the young boys haven’t been ex­posed to NFD foot­ball and that’s what made it dif­fi­cult in the first cou­ple of games. They weren’t used to the in­ten­sity of the league. It’s very quick and a lot of teams play aerial foot­ball so ev­ery­thing in the air be­comes a phys­i­cal chal­lenge,” he said.

“We’ll ap­ply the foot­ball prin­ci­ples that work for us and what works for us is ob­vi­ously that we like to keep pos­ses­sion of the ball, but we also want to go for­ward quickly and pen­e­trate.

“We are not go­ing to change much but we have pre­pared for Cos­mos. Their con­fi­dence is high be­cause of their po­si­tion on the log, and our con­fi­dence is high be­cause we got our first win and we are go­ing to con­tinue build­ing on that.”

Mean­while, San­tos have not won since their open­ing 2-1 win over Mbombela United. They have strug­gled to turn pos­ses­sion into goals and recorded their third draw of the cam­paign in last week’s 1-1 stale­mate against Wit­bank Spurs. The Lans­downe club will need to de­fend as­tutely to keep out Thanda, who have scored 14 goals in their last three games.

Mi­lano United face a much eas­ier prospect to­mor­row when they host Real Kings at Athlone Sta­dium. The Grassy Park out­fit moved out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone last week af­ter an against-the-odds win against Stel­len­bosch FC.

Mi­lano coach Boe­bie Solomons tem­pered ex­pec­ta­tions ahead of the fix­ture.

“We are tak­ing it one game at a time. We look at ev­ery game and we don’t set our sights too far, be­cause I think that is what we have done pre­vi­ously,” he said.

“Es­pe­cially the young play­ers; they can’t take the same pres­sure as the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers. So we take it one game at a time and put too much pres­sure on the play­ers.

“We have to let them find their feet, gain ex­pe­ri­ence and en­joy them­selves.” Fix­tures To­day (3.30pm): San­tos v Thanda Royal Zulu FC, Black Leopards v FC Cape Town, Royal Ea­gles v Ma­gesi FC, Mthatha Bucks v Mbombela United. To­mor­row (3.30pm): Uni­ver­sity of Pretoria v Wit­bank Spurs, Jomo Cos­mos v Cape Town All Stars, AmaZulu v Stel­len­bosch FC, Mi­lano United v Real Kings FC.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.