Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
29 Jan 2021
9:13 pm

Middendorp has an ace up his sleeve, says Maritzburg’s Claasen ahead of KZN derby

Ntokozo Gumede

The midfielder said Middendorp is sharpening the sword in anticipation of the trip to the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

Daylon Claasen of Maritzburg United (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

The start of January was promising to be the turn of the corner for Maritzburg United who have been knocking their heads trying to find solutions of how to move away from the relegation quagmire.

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The Team of Choice won their two opening games of the year, starting with a 2-1 win against Bloemfontein Celtic and a 2-0 win away to Kaizer Chiefs.

Those two games were followed by a draw before it went south for Ernst Middendorp’s team as they have conceded four goals in the last two games in losses to Orlando Pirates and TS Galaxy.

This weekend they are away to a wounded Golden Arrows side, whose hopes of an invincible season went up in smoke when they were stunned by Cape Town City in a thrilling 4-2 contest last time out.

Veteran midfielder, Daylon Claasen, says his head coach, Middendorp, has an ace up his sleeve and is sharpening the sword in anticipation of the trip to the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

“The coach got some tactics he is working on and we hope it will go according to plan. But one can only prepare so much, on the day you need to adjust and adapt accordingly to win the game. We are just focusing on ourselves and not Arrows,” said Claasen.

Traditionally, the scales have always been level when it comes to this particular KwaZulu-Natal derby, but the Team of Choice would have to trace back as far as 2016 for the last time they managed to beat their rivals.

“We are just trying our best at training to rectify our mistakes and take the game to Arrows. I expect it to be a difficult game especially that it is two teams from KwaZulu-Natal, these games are never easy. I expect a competitive match and we will give our best,” said Claasen.

“In a game of soccer one can’t do anything but keep working and giving your best at training and keep working and hope things will change for us because we do play to win but it is just unfortunate that the two recent results we got were not in our favour but we are hoping that the match against Arrows goes in our favour,” said he added.

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