Maritzburg United captain Ashley Hartog says his players must be fully plugged in and ready for anything Kaizer Chiefs may throw at them on Saturday.
The Team of Choice have made a very good start to the season, but face an AmaKhosi team who have just won the MTN8, and are sitting at the top of the Absa Premiership standings, having won every game they have played this season.
And Hartog has refuted any suggestions that Chiefs might not be fully focused this weekend, perhaps still savouring their R8 million MTN8 winner’s cheque.
“Chiefs are very good at keeping their focus and concentration in every game they play. I don’t think they will be distracted by their MTN8 win over Pirates – I expect them to come out firing at us at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
“Their counter-attacks are especially swift and potent, and almost always result in at least a shot on goal, if not a goal. They are fast and get forward quickly in numbers, so we have to make sure that we have enough numbers of our on back in our defensive third,” Hartog told maritzburgunited.co.za.
As is always the case when you play a big team like Chiefs, the players need no extra motivation, and everyone wants to play. But whoever plays on Saturday must be sure they are in the right mental state -that they are ready to face the fans and that they have what it takes to perform on the big stage. If we are mentally prepared, we can achieve anything.”
The Team of Choice have had two weeks off since their last match, a 0-0 draw with Black Aces, and Hartog says they have used the time to fine-tune a few aspects of their game.
“I think we have gelled some time ago, but there are still certain areas that need improving. Making better uses of our goal-scoring chances, and also our ability to hold on to the ball possession for longer periods is something we have been working on during the last two weeks,” said the Maritzburg skipper.