Maritzburg United might not have got off to the best start to the new season, but they are still dangerous Absa Premiership opponents this evening for Giovanni Solinas’ Kaizer Chiefs, who have themselves been listless in the league thus far.
Solinas bizarrely pointed to fatigue, just four games into the season, after Chiefs drew 1-1 with Baroka FC on Tuesday night, their second draw in the league this season, to go with a defeat to Bidvest Wits.
Chiefs’ only win came against Free State Stars in the MTN8 quarterfinals.
Fadlu Davids’ side have lost all three of their league and cup games so far, a far cry from the success of last season, but United will be determined to turn that around tonight in a venue they like to call their slaughterhouse – the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.
While he claims to be unconcerned by the slow start, Davids admitted his side lack the sharpness they showed last season, especially up front.
“That X-factor in the final third, that’s what we need,” said Davids ahead of today’s match.
“Last season I won the first three games and then went eleven games without a win, so I’d rather start this way and then kick-start our season in the coming month,” said the 37-year-old.
Captain Siyanda Xulu also lamented their profligate finishing.
“We have to pull ourselves together, fight for one another and convert our chances. We always aim to turn things around and we have another chance to do that. It’s no question that what we have to rectify is not taking our chances,” said the former Chiefs defender.
Solinas didn’t seem to mind too much that his strikers, Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat, have scored just once each in four games so far.
“I am happy with the strikers. For me they are the best in the Premiership. Maybe we could have scored more but this is normal in football,” the Italian said.
Solinas, however, understands that for his team to be able to deliver on expectations they have to be more consistent.
“We need to be more consistent. We are competing to win the league … we cannot be up today and down tomorrow.”