'Drawing against Downs is a loss'

Premiership

Usuthu beat Baroka and Free State Stars on home soil to bolster their confidence for the visit of the Absa Premiership champions.

When these sides tangled at the same venue last season, Sundowns avenged a 2-1 loss in Tshwane with a 3-1 win, which was marred by fans hurling missiles onto the pitch following a goal by Sibusiso Vilakazi.

The PSL on Wednesday fined the Durban club R640,000 (half suspended for two years) for the incident.

"Since the season started we haven't lost at home. So what we have said as players is that when we play in Umlazi we want to make sure we don't lose. A draw we take as a loss," said Cele, who scored in the last meeting as he finished as his side's top scorer in 2017/18 with seven league goals.

"There's nothing else we are looking at this season and that is in respect of the people of Umlazi and those who support the club.

"Also the break (FIFA international recess) helped up a lot because we are feeling fresh. We have trained, our minds are clear and I think there's nothing that is going to disturb us."

Meanwhile, Cele, who scored 19 NFD goals for the now-defunct Thanda Royal Zulu in 2016/17, has welcomed the recent loan signing of towering hitman Bongi Ntuli from Downs.

The speedy Cele reckons Ntuli will cause problems for opposing defences with his physicality and provide opportunities for him and fellow forward Emiliano Tade.

"The arrival of Ntuli is going to be helpful because when you look at Ntuli he's a striker that is powerful, that also fights with defenders.

"I think players like me and Tade will get the loose balls to be able to punish teams."

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