Lloyd Burnard
3 minute read
30 Nov 2013
00:00

Big test for Arrows

Lloyd Burnard

Durban side aim to make it two wins in a row when they face Stars.

GOLDEN Arrows coach Mark Harrison left Princess Magogo Stadium 10 minutes before full time in AmaZulu’s 2-0 win over Platinum Stars on Wednesday night. He had obviously seen enough, and if Arrows beat Stars tonight at King Zwelithini Stadium, it will cap off a miserable week in the Zulu Kingdom for the Rustenberg-based MTN8 champions.

Arrows are in high spirits, and have had a midweek break following their 2-1 win over Maritzburg United last weekend. That win was hugely important for Arrows, as it saw them move ahead of the University of Pretoria into 14th place on the PSL table. The objective now, obviously, is to build on that win and continue a steady climb up the table and away from the relegation worries that accompany the basement positions.

Encouraging for Arrows is that both of Harrison’s wins since taking over have come at home.

“It is quite strange because our approach to away games is the same as our approach to home games. We never go to nick a point, we always go for the three,” Harrison told Weekend Witness this week. “But it is always important to win your home games and give the fans that come out something to celebrate.”

With striker Bonginkosi Ntuli in fine form after netting twice in his last three outings, and Arrows showing an ability to move the ball quickly around the pitch in recent matches, the prospect of seeing goals tonight is a very real one.

“He [Ntuli] is a quality player and has a very big future. I’m sure he will play for Bafana one day,” said Harrison.

“He has pace, strength, he can hold the ball up, he can get past players and he can score goals. But right now he needs to keep his head on his shoulders and keep working hard.”

Turning his attention to Stars, Harrison was all too aware of the threats he faced. “They play for each other. There are no superstars there, but they have a collective desire to win,” he said. “But we also want to win, and we have a big test now to see if we can pull of two games in a row.”

AmaZulu, also fresh off a win, are in Pretoria this afternoon for a date with Tuks. The University side is fighting against second season syndrome, and another loss or two will start causing a panic for coach Steve Barker.

But AmaZulu boss Craig Rosslee is expecting a tough match.

“This is our third game in a week now and we are away, so it will be tough,” admitted Rosslee on Wednesday night after celebrating his first league win in eight attempts. “If we go into this game with the same attitude that we have shown in our last few then I think we will always be in business.”

It has been a frustrating few weeks for Rosslee, but even when not winning he has remained adamant that the side has been playing a good brand of football and creating chances. The problems, rather, have been in keeping goals out.

“This is a tough league,” the coach added with a smile. “We have to manage our players, get through the match, and then we have a two-week break.”

PSL fixtures this weekend:

Today:

3.30 pm – University of Pretoria v AmaZulu

3.30 pm – Free State Stars v Kaizer Chiefs

6 pm – Golden Arrows v Platinum Stars

8.15 pm – Orlando Pirates v Bloem Celtic

Tomorrow:

3.30 pm – Mamelodi Sundowns v Moroka Swallows

‘Weekend Witness’ predictions:

Tuks 1 – 1 AmaZulu; FS Stars 1 – 2 Chiefs; Arrows 1 – 1 Stars; Pirates 2 – 0 Celtic; Sundowns 2 – 0 Swallows