Must-win clash for Davids

Team of Choice coach un­der pres­sure to de­liver in a tie that could de­cide his fu­ture with club

Weekend Witness - - Sport - SITHEMBISO DINDI

TO­DAY’S Absa Pre­mier­ship clash be­tween Mar­itzburg United and Baroka FC is likely to play a huge role in de­cid­ing the fu­ture of coach Fadlu Davids with the Team of Choice.

The rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened United host the equally strug­gling Baroka at Harry Gwala Sta­dium at 8.15 pm in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

Af­ter lead­ing United to a very suc­cess­ful cam­paign last sea­son, tak­ing them to the Ned­bank Cup fi­nal and a top-four fin­ish in the Pre­mier­ship, Davids has found the go­ing tough this sea­son.

In the 13 matches they have played so far, the Team of Choice find them­selves in the un­en­vi­able sec­ond spot from the bot­tom of the ta­ble with just one win to their name.

That un­de­sir­able run has brought much uncer­tainty over Davids’ fu­ture as the coach of the club and ru­mour has it that the own­ers are likely to show him the door should he fail to win to­day.

Head­ing to the clash, both sides are at 11 points apiece with the Telkom Knock­out cham­pi­ons Baroka at the foot of the ta­ble while the lo­cal team are just above them, based on a su­pe­rior goal dif­fer­ence.

Also, the Lim­popo out­fit have played one more game com­pared to the men from the KZN cap­i­tal. A de­feat to the lo­cal team would mean they would end the year at the foot of the ta­ble.

How­ever, Davids is con­fi­dent that his troops will fight to­day to break their eight-match win­less streak. Mar­itzburg United coach Fadlu Davids needs three points against Baroka FC to­day to avoid the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing axed by the Team of Choice. PHOTO: GALLO IM­AGES

“Prepa­ra­tion has gone well. The play­ers are re­ally de­ter­mined, you could see that in their eyes. The whole coun­try is on hol­i­day, but our play­ers are on work mode. We are pre­par­ing for it like a cup fi­nal,” said Davids.

“Yes, a win will move us into safety. To end the year with a win in our fi­nal game of the year will be great for the play­ers ...”

Should United win to­day, it will be their first home vic­tory in the league this sea­son. To help Davids and his men, team man­age­ment have of­fered a free en­trance for fans to the sta­dium. How­ever, sup­port­ers need to wear the Mar­itzburg replica jer­sey or the blue sup­port­ers’ T-shirt, which will be on sale at the sta­dium to­day at a cost of R50 each, to waive the cost of a match ticket.

“The whole coun­try is on hol­i­day, but our play­ers are on work mode.”

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