Peoples’ Team manager Maart Nooij is leading his troops into battle against Chippa United with thoughts of only one outcome: victory.
|Martinus Nooij @ Backpagepix
The two Cape Town sides clash in a promotion play-off game at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night (kick off is at 19H30). Santos won their first match 1-0 away to Thanda Royal Zulu, while Chippa drew 1-1 with Thanda on the weekend.
The break to proceedings brought about by Blackburn Rovers’ unsuccessful appeal to replace Chippa in the play-offs was one issue he has had to deal with.
For the Dutch coach, it’s been all about ensuring that his players are in the right frame of mind as they look to avoid a first relegation for a club that has in the past lifted the league championship.
“If things are against you, you have to turn it upside down in your favour. So I told the players we are starting off pre-season, and the playoffs are part of the pre-season.
“We trained hard, and I believe the motivation for the players is growing and we are optimistic,” said Nooij.
After a tough season that saw the team headed by Boebie Solomons and then Duncan Crowie, Nooij is adamant that better times are on the horizon.
“It’s a very important game. I have a feeling that the club, the players, the management and the fans have been waiting for this moment to arrive because the time of misery and unhappiness and misery can be turned around.
“I have been in the country for six matches, and the results have been more or less okay. There is only one option and that is to win.”
Another potential distraction for Santos has been the media speculation linking some of the club’s top players to other clubs in the PSL.
“We have good players and as I know they war wanted by several clubs, but that’s not of interest to us, because at the moment we have to play Chippa United,
“We will do anything to stay in the PSL. We have to win the match, and since I came in we have played six cup finals, and this is another cup final.”