Maritzburg United midfielder Keagan Buchanan and his team-mates are determined to turn their season around with a victory over Stellenbosch FC in a DStv Premiership encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.
The match comes just three days after the Team of Choice’s latest outing, a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Swallows FC at the Dobsonville Stadium.
But rather than lingering on the negatives of that defeat, Buchanan says it’s important that the players use that as motivation to do better on Friday.
“The fact that the games are coming quickly just gives us another chance to redeem ourselves, and do the talking on the field, get the result, because that’s all that really matters,” said the midfield playmaker.
And Buchanan is confident that head coach Ernst Middendorp’s plan to secure victory over the Cape side will pay off:
“The coach has his tactical plan for the game which we have to implement. Knowing the coach, he doesn’t just plan for this game now in the two days after the Swallows game – and we will trust his plan and go into the game to implement it to get the result.”
Against the Birds, coach Ernst felt his side squandered a good opportunity to come away with a positive result.
He wants United to build on some aspects of recent performances, including their last home game – a 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns – but also to ensure they take the chances that come their way and do not present any easy openings to the opposition attackers.
“It was a very disappointing result, considering the first 30 or 35 minutes, we should have been two or three zero up,” the coach said.
“We continued where we had with the progress in our last two games, but [against the run of play] we conceded, and the second goal was similar, naive and not organised in defence.”
The game against Stellenbosch kicks off at 7pm and as is currently the case, will be played behind closed doors. It will, however, be televised on SuperSport 202.
Since Stellenbosch’s formation, United have played them three times. The most recent occasion resulted in a 3-0 home victory for Maritzburg. There was also a penalty shoot-out win for the Team of Choice after a 2-2 Nedbank Cup draw, as well as a 0-0 league encounter in Cape Town last season.