Shandu: Maritzburg mustn't force it

The Team of Choice started the campaign promisingly but have slumped to a nine-match winless run in all competitions and have failed to score in their last six games.

Fadlu Davids' charges will hope to buck the trend when they visit Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night (19h30).

"It was tough, losing the Celtic game, and then having a long break like that afterwards because as a player after a loss, you want to be able to try and rectify it as soon as possible,” Shandu told his club's website, referring to a 1-0 loss at Bloemfontein Celtic just before the FIFA break.

"But we have been able to look at that game and take positives and negatives out of it, and we have been working hard to rectify certain areas.

"I think overall we have not been playing badly, but we haven’t been scoring, so there has been a lot of work on finishing. Some of the games we have played, the opposition goalkeeper has been Man of the Match. So we are working hard to become better at putting the ball in the back of the net.

"The coach also gave us time to go and reflect on ourselves personally and then when we came back to training, there was a positive attitude from every single player. You could see that every single player wants to work even harder than before in order to try and turn things around."

The 22-year-old continued: "The coach said we must not put too much pressure on ourselves though, because if we try too hard to force things, we also won’t score. So we must keep doing what we have been doing, and it will come, we just need to one or two goals and then things should return to normal.

"We will take one game at a time though, if we look at too big a picture, we could get lost. I think we need that one win, and everything could turn – I don’t think we are far off from the top teams. A win on Wednesday could prove a huge boost for us."

Shandu, who is in his fifth season in the topflight, says Maritzburg will fight for every ball against Rise and Shine, who lost to Celtic on penalties in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals on Sunday.

"I watched them against Celtic in the TKO, and they are a good team, you can’t take them for granted, you can’t take them lightly, because they will punish you. We have huge respect for them, but we are going to work our socks off. It’s going to be a fight for every single ball, every single challenge, and we are up for it. When we leave the field, we must know that we gave it our all in the fight for three points."