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Football | Absa Premiership

Mame Niang © Backpagepix

Tuks out to beat Maritzburg



The University of Pretoria will look for maximum points when they visit Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday for an Absa Premiership match, kick-off at 7:30pm (CAT, SA, GMT+2)

AmaTuks are unbeaten in their last three matches, and go into this match following a 1-1 draw against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, away from home.

Despite not being able to come away with maximum points against the Amakhosi, defender Tebogo Monyai believes they did well to come from behind to claim a point away from home.

“We were looking forward to getting three points but if you can’t win the game you better keep a point,” said Monyai.

“We could have done better but I’m happy with the commitment that the guys showed to come back after conceding a goal.”

Steve Barker’s side has collected 15 points in eight matches played on the road this season, and Monyai believes they can continue with their impressive record in Pietermaritzburg.

“After playing against Kaizer Chiefs there’s always a concern that some players might drop their socks, but we’ve spoken about it and we want to maintain the same standards against Maritzburg,” he said.

“We want to wrap up the year on 25 points so it’s important for us to win this game and close on a high note.

“It’s going to be a difficult game, both teams are more or less in the same place so a lot will be at stake, but we’ll do our best to take the three points.”

AmaTuks are placed sixth on the Absa Premiership log with 22 points from 15 matches, one place below the Team of Choice, who have 23 points from their 15 games.

However, it is Ernst Middendorp’s side who will be under more pressure going into this game after suffering three successive defeats, the most recent being a 2-1 loss to Orlando Pirates.

United have found it difficult to collect points in recent league outings, but Middendorp believes that they are not being rewarded for their hard work, partly due to their own mistakes.

"We are not getting paid for it at the moment,” said Middendorp, referring to their fighting spirit.

“I look at how we played soccer (against Pirates), how we tried to get back from 0-2 and came back to 1-2 and in the end we had the opportunities that we didn’t use, but that’s our fault, I can’t blame anyone.”

Nonetheless, the German coach is now targeting their final match of the year against AmaTuks as their chance to grab maximum points and to consolidate their place in the top five.

"I said before the game (against Pirates) that we want three points out of the six,” he added.

“We made it very clear and now we need to pick up our last chance against Tuks. I think we can make it happen."

When the two sides met for the first time earlier this season the match ended in a 1-1 draw with David Radebe scoring for AmaTuks, while Mario Booysen scored a late equaliser for United.

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