Victory is a must for Santos
29 June 2012 | NJABULO NGIDI
JOHANNESBURG - But with the outfit described by coach Martinus Nooij as a side that are, “strong at complicating our own affairs when we are in a comfortable position”, they will need to overcome their own demons to achieve that.
The People’s Team were favourites to finish the play-offs ahead of United and Thanda Royal Zulu and become the third team – with AmaZulu and Mpumalanga Black Aces – to retain their Premiership status.
A win in their first match, especially since it was on the road, gave that notion life, but hiccups came along the way and Santos are fighting for survival in the Premiership against a hungry Chippa United outfit with Amabhubesi already out of contention.
It was a loss to Thanda that put Santos in this position after being in control of proceedings.
The match showed the Cape Town outfit’s frailty of failing to press for the entire 90 minutes as they were too comfortable with a 1-0 lead only for Thanda to come back and take all three points.
“We have learnt our lesson,” Santos defender Wayne Arendse said.
“In that match after taking the lead, we took our foot off the pedal and we were punished.
“We will not repeat that mistake again.
“We know what we need to do against Chippa, which is to win, because a draw is all they need.
“I expect them to come at us all guns blazing especially since they are playing in front of their home fans but as the match progress I think they will tire and then we can punish them.
“We are a professional team and I hope that the guys come to the party.”
In their previous encounter against United, which ended in a goalless draw, the Santos players didn’t come to the party especially up front.
Tomorrow it is vital that they do so because failure will see them relegated to the National First Division.
Arendse, who missed the loss to Thanda due to suspension, will be back in the side along with Tyren Arendse, Tawonga Chimodzi, Bheki Shabangu and Salmaan King who were also suspended.
“This is the most important game of our lives, everyone in the team knows that,” Arendse said.
“We need to get an early goal to unsettle them and stamp our authority to stand a chance of a win. In the first match against them we created many chances but didn’t convert them.
“On Saturday we cannot afford to do that and I think that all the players are competent enough to achieve our goals and their minds are in the right frame to carry us through.”
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