United look to bust Celtic bubble
Following their cup final success over the weekend, Bloemfontein Celtic will now shift their focus to the bread and butter business of the Absa Premiership with a tricky trip to SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday night, kick-off at 19h30.
High on the preparations agenda of Celtic coach Clinton Larsen will be to ensure that his charges have moved from celebrations to work mode against a United side who are always difficult to beat at home.
After 12 rounds of games, “Phunya Sele Sele” have conceded a worrying 14 goals and influential captain Thabo Nthethe and his defensive partners must improve against the United attackers.
Speaking ahead of the game, Nthethe warned his teammates against complacency.
“We have to continue showing commitment and seriousness in our work because we want to end the year on a high note,” he said.
Nthethe said it is the responsibility of senior players in the team to guide the younger generation to remain focused and not to get carried away by the Telkom Knockout success.
For Celtic to prevail, Larsen will be looking for exciting players like Joel Mogorosi, Ruzaigh Gamildien, Lennox Bacela and Lyle Lekay to fire on all cylinders against United away from home.
United coach Gavin Hunt, who has been unimpressed by his team’s showing in front of goal so far this season, will be hoping for a much improved performance as Celtic will be highly motivated by their weekend’s success.
United defender Davis Nkausu said the Celtic game is important to them as they try to move away from bottom half of the table.
“We have drawn too many games this season and this is an opportunity for us to get things right and collect maximum points,” he said.
Nkausu added that Celtic’s cup success on the weekend may prove to be a blessing for United as the visitors may arrive in the capital a little complacent.
“Their situation can work in our favour because they may come to us still in a celebratory mood and we are ready to take advantage of that. Our position is not good and we want to make sure that we collect as many points as possible so that we go to the December break in a favourable position,” he added.
In the 12 matches they have played so far, Matsatsantsa have only one victory to show for their troubles, drawing a whopping ten matches and losing just once.
As a result of the ten draws, United find themselves sitting eleventh on the log with a lot of work to do to move into the top eight bracket going into the Christmas break.
On the side of United, Hunt will be hoping that the likes of Thabo Nkoana, Atusaye Nyondo, Grant Kekana, Roscoe Peterson and Davis Nkausu are at their best on the night.