Madibaz Out For Retribution
Following their defeat to UWC in Round Four, Madibaz coach Greame Harrison has readied his troops for a do-or-die encounter with UFS-Kovsies after apologising to the NMMU faithful.
The PE students were left red-faced after succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to their Cape opponents, the loss costing them their flawless home record since the inception of Varsity Football.
Heading into Round Five, the Madibaz are three points behind their Bloemfontein opponents and Harrison knows the importance of claiming maximum points if they are to qualify for the next phase of the competition.
"Every game now is a must-win for us if we want to claim a semi-final spot. We need to pick up the full nine points from our remaining games. You don't really want to rely on other results going your way but if it turns out that way, I'll be a happy man," he said.
Harrison knows the threat that Kovsies possess and has rung the changes to counter the Bloem students' threat in the air and on the ground by bringing in a few younger players who are full of energy and raring to go.
"We know they are going to be tough opponents who enjoys playing the ball on the ground as they have players with plenty of speed and skill. So to counter that, we have brought in some younger players who will be making their debut," he added.
NMMU will be without the services of talisman striker Cloudius Sangandira who received a red card in the UWC match and is suspended for the trip to Bloem.
Another concern for the PE students is the fitness of their top goalscorer Kieran Koert who was substituted in the same match after tweaking his hamstring. Harrison said Koert will make the trip but is unlikely to take his place in the starting XI.
The Madibaz have had concentration issues in their previous games which have cost them valuable points but Harrison believes this is a thing of the past and they will be a much improved outfit.
"We will be better organised defensively. Each player knows their defensive role and have been working hard on their specific duties," he said.