Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids' instructions for the Nedbank Cup final against Free State Stars
Posted: 18 May 2018 Time: 17:00
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids says his instructions are simple for his men ahead of the Nedbank Cup decider.
The Team of Choice, who touched down in the Mother City this morning, will face Free State Stars in their first final at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (19h00).
“The basic message, like I said before, is to approach it like a normal game,” said Davids, who won the Telkom Knockout as a player in 2006 with Platinum Stars.
“We are playing Free State Stars and they’ve beaten us at Harry Gwala Stadium [in the league] before.
“It's a tough team, well coached, a well-organised team, the best counter-attacking team in the league.
“We've got to be really responsible in our build up and once they get to Cape Town they’ve got to ultimately enjoy the game.”
He added: “It's moment that they have to enjoy and take the pressure off, and approach it like a normal match.”
Stars beat Maritzburg 1-0 in the league at Harry Gwala Stadium thanks to a strike from Sinethemba Jantjies, but Davids' side responded with a 3-0 victory in the return duel. Siphesihle Ndlovu played a hand in the goals scored by Andrea Fileccia, Evans Rusike and Bandile Shandu in Bethlehem.
In team news, Davids will be minus William Twala and Brian Onyango on the weekend, while Pogiso Sanoka faces a late fitness test.
Meanwhile, Davids says the club is determined to never again have to fight relegation like in the past. He steered United to a best-ever fourth-place finish this season, bettering the seventh they achieved last term.
“We still, like I said on my appointment, are trying to change the tag of Maritzburg not to be a club that is fighting relegation. We want to be in the top eight in the next three years,” Davids said.
“We’ve achieved that in the first year and the target for the next two years is to be in the top eight as well. We can’t be one good season and then next season we are fighting for relegation. So to be consistent in the next three years, that is the target and we are on course for that.
“With one year gone and two years to achieve the top eight, then we can think and say, ‘let’s push ourselves to be in this top-five bracket for the next three years’. It’s a process, it’s not a case where you snap your fingers.
“We have to really improve the squad. We have to be realistic; we haven’t replaced Kurt Lentjies; we haven’t replaced 'Danso' [Denis Weidlich] our captain in January; we haven’t replaced Evans Rusike. So those are definitely areas we need to strengthen to take us to the next step.”