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Football | Absa Premiership

Delron Buckley and Mthokozisi Yende © Backpagepix

‘Underdogs’ Maritzburg host Dikwena



Fresh off a win over the Absa Premiership league leaders, Platinum Stars will look to continue their run against the inform Maritzburg United on Tuesday evening at the Harry Gwala Stadium, kick-off at 19h30.

The Dikwena continued to send shock waves across the South African football fraternity, two Saturdays ago, when they stumped the league front runners Kaizer Chiefs to a 2-0 defeat.

Instrumental in that win was club captain Henrico Botes who was happy with yet another home win.

“Thanks to my teammates. We have been trying to make this (Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace) our slaughterhouse and we are now moving in right direction. I hope it can continue,” said Botes.

“We have a nice bunch of old and young players and it’s working well. Thabani Mthembu, an Under-20 international player, is quite marvelous and is definitely one for the future.

“We are looking to continue our fine form, but we know it won’t be easy, but we are confident we can get a positive result on Tuesday.”

The win over Chiefs was the first Absa Premiership defeat of the season for the Soweto outfit, but Botes says it was just like any other game for his side.

“It was a great performance and we respect Kaizer Chiefs, but on the field it is 11 versus 11,” Botes added.

Another team in impressive form would be the Team of Choice from KwaZulu Natal who sit in third place and just appoint above Tuesday’s adversaries, and assistant coach, Fadlu Davids, says it is their European style of play that has contributed to their run.

“Obviously the coach has a small squad, but he has added some youth and experience to it. He brings something different to the game with a European mentality in the likes of Delron Buckley,” said Davids.

“Cavin (Johnson), as a coach, brings in a different dimension to the game with his European style and how he gets the best out of the players. He has earmarked his players by selecting the best and getting rid of the fringe players.

“Platinum Stars has played six games and won five with a freak loss, and no disrespect, to Chippa United. They have been consistent and it is not easy to win five games now these days.”

Davids was immediate in urging a warning to his men that they need to approach the game with no airs and graces due to them being the ‘underdog’.

“Cavin has done well with the squad he has assembled and we have to approach the game in a professional manner and give them the respect they deserve.

“Platinum Stars’ away from home hasn’t been as good as their form at home. They have a lot of quality and depth in their squad which has formed them into a formidable side. We come into the game as the underdogs as they are flying high,” concluded Davids.

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