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05 Nov 2009 09:26
SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt breathed a small sigh of relief when Daine Klate’s last minute goal earned the depleted Absa Premiership champions a 1-1 draw against struggling Platinum Stars at the Super Stadium on Wednesday night.
But Hunt said he would bring back the big guns who missed the clash against Stars, for their showdown against another struggling outfit, AmaZulu, who they host at Loftus on Saturday.
AmaZulu have sunk further into the relegation quagmire after they were beaten 1-0 by fellow strugglers Free State Stars at Goble Park in Bethlehem on Wednesday.
Returning to United are the two regular strikers, Glen Salmons and Anthony Laffor, who were sidelined with injury and the centre back pairing of skipper Bongani Khumalo and Morgan Gould, who were suspended on Wednesday.
Stated Hunt: “I told the lads in the dressingroom this was their chance to show me what they can do, and frankly, some went missing out on the pitch and did not impress.
“They know they blew the chances I gave them.
We did not play well, but we should have taken three points.”
Hunt stressed he was worried by the fact United have dropped four points in the last two home matches.
“It is not good enough dropping home points like this and I told the players how I feel. They know I will make changes for AmaZulu who will come for a point like Stars, and try and defend and frustrate us.
“We have to learn to get through packed defences and put these sides to the sword.”
Hunt has set a target of 30 points from his first round of 15 matches. United have 24 points with two matches remaining before United reach the halfway mark.
Said Hunt: “That means we have to win our two next matches and if we achieve this I fancy us to retain the title.
“Two points per match will be more than enough to give us a third league crown.”
Stars have only scored eight goals in 13 matches and their goal against United came from a bad defensive mix up and was scored by their Japanese born striker, Norikazu Murakami, in the 60th minute.
“You get punished if you lose concentration. But to the lads’ credit they fought back bravely and at least we got a point from a match we should have had sewn up by halftime.”
However, Stars coach Steve Komphela, said he believed his side should have won the game.
“I am not happy with the draw. We gave away a goal right at the end when we lost focus and paid the penalty.”
But Komphela is not pushing any panic buttons with the fact his goal-shy side has scored only eight league goals so far.
“We all know is not good enough, but I am not going to make wholesale changes.
“The fact we have been unlucky in certain games and we are creating chances, shows me we will come right.
I am worried about the lack of goals, but I believe we can turn the corner if we continue pushing top sides like SuperSport like we did tonight.”
Komphela faces another tough examination of his side when they host BidVest Wits at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Saturday.
The Students drew 0-0 against high riding Santos at the Coetzenburg Stadium on Wednesday.
Said Komphela: “Wits are like SuperSport ... very businesslike. It is going to be another difficult game for us.”
Outstanding again for Stars was former Bafana Bafana central defender Mbulelo “OJ” Mabizela.
Said Komphela: “OJ is the best centre half in the country.”
In other premiership matches played on Wednesday, Kaizer Chiefs fought back for a 3-3 draw with Mpumalanga Black Aces, Ajax Cape Town beat Jomo Cosmos 1-0, Orlando Pirates laboured to a 1-1 draw with Maritzburg United, Mamelodi Sundowns edged out Moroka Swallows 1-0 while Golden Arrows scraped a 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic.—Sapa
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