‘Arrows have missed Shongwe'

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Shongwe sat out the club's previous three games with an ankle injury, having last featured when he scored in a 2-2 draw with Cape Town City on November 25 at Princess Magogo Stadium.

Larsen hoped to field Shongwe in the 0-0 derby draw with Maritzburg United last Sunday but the game came too soon for the playmaker.

"Shongwe went over his ankle and has been struggling a bit. He had a 50/50 chance to play, he trained before the game. We've really missed his creativity in the middle of the park," said Larsen.

"It is why we have dropped [Kudakwashe] Mahachi a little bit deeper because of his absence. But I'm just hopeful that he'll be flying in the second round and I'm sure the first game against Bloemfontein Celtic he'll be fully fit and fighting for a place in the starting line-up."

Abafana Bes'thende, in 10th place on the table with 18 points from 15 fixtures, will aim to snap an 11-game winless run when they resume their campaign against Bloemfontein Celtic on January 7 at Dr Molemela Stadium.

Larsen pointed out the Durban-based outfit are not alone this season when it comes to rough patches.

"More than half the coaches in this league have gone through rough patches: Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars, Bidvest Wits, Baroka FC, Maritzburg United, every team," Larsen said.

"Outside of the top five, teams have had this type of run and hopefully it's behind us now. We had the phase of games that we struggled to win but I'm sure at some point we'll go to two, three wins and that changes the whole thing."

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