Maritzburg United midfielder Michael Morton says that his side must match Free State Stars’ physical approach if the KZN side are to get a positive result on Friday night.
|Michael Morton @ Backpagepix
The two teams meet at the Harry Gwala Stadium (20H00), with the Team of Choice determined to improve on last season’s results against Ea Lla Koto, who triumphed with an aggregate score of 6-1 (2-0 and 4-1).
The Free State side has in fact recorded four wins and six draws against United in their previous 10 League encounters.
“Stars have always given us a tough time – last season they were one of the only teams we never picked up points against.
“They don’t play pretty football – they are aggressive, physical and in your face – we need to counter that if we are to get a result,” said Morton.
Maritzburg have gotten off to a flying start this season, with a 2-1 away win over Mamelodi Sundowns in their most recent game seeing them occupying second position on the Absa Premiership log.
The former Wits and Pirates hard man believes that the current squad is good enough to break the hoodoo Stars have over them.
“I’ve heard a lot of the guys talking about consistency, which of course we need. But for me the main thing is to focus on a game at a time. We have got a decent home record and we need to make sure we continue that, starting on Friday.
“It will be tough, but we have a much improved squad, we are competitive and I’m confident that if we go out there and play at our best we can get a result.”
Morton has been one of United’s stand-out performers this season, putting in some industrious performances in the middle of the park, where he can always be relied upon to give 110 percent.
He is reasonably happy with his own form, and has also praised the influence of new arrival Delron Buckley.
“I feel I have played ok, but I’m looking to improve as the season goes on. I’m looking to add more value to the side. If I can keep my standards high throughout the season, then I’ll be happy.
“There’s no doubt of the impression Bucks has made, he has massive quality, you could see that from the start. I’m learning every day from him, we all are.”
If the Under-23 international continues to perform for Maritzburg, he may just come into reckoning for a senior call up. But for now, he is happy to watch Bafana Bafana from the comfort of his living room, and he feels the team, who play Mozambique tonight, are on the right track.
“They have looked good so far, and I believe Gordon Igesund is the right man. He has the coaching credentials, and he knows the league and the players.
“Foreign coaches can battle to understand the intricacies of South African football, what makes the players tick; I believe Gordon will get the best out of the team.”