Davids says Maritzburg's remaining games before Christmas critical for their survival

04 December 2018 - 18:16 By Sazi Hadebe
Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids looks on during a Telkom Knockout last 16 match against Highlands Park at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg. Sitting next to him is his younger brother and assistant coach Maahier Davids.
Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids looks on during a Telkom Knockout last 16 match against Highlands Park at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg. Sitting next to him is his younger brother and assistant coach Maahier Davids.
Image: Anesh Debiky

Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids says his side's three remaining league games before the Christmas break are critical for their Absa Premiership survival.

The 37-year-old coach‚ the youngest in the Premier Soccer League (PSL)‚ saw his team earn its sixth draw in 11 matches against Orlando Pirates (0-0) at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The point gained in Orlando did not help Davids’ team that much as they remain one point clear of basement side Black Leopards.

“We set ourselves a target of a certain number of points we want‚” said Davids.

“We wanted 18 points in at least 14 games and we will push for that in the nine points left before the end of this year.”

Maritzburg will have to start fighting for those points at home against Leopards on December 12 before wrapping up the year with two league fixtures away to SuperSport United on December 15 and at home against Baroka FC on December 22.

“Let’s not talk about winning three games in a row but let’s talk about the first win‚” said Davids of his club’s approach to recover from a bad start in the current campaign.

“It is what it is with young players… if they are going through a bad period it’s extremely difficult to lift themselves and they always look where there’s experience.

“If you want a good run you ride the wave. That’s exactly what we are trying to achieve to get that first win and to build that confidence.”

Despite losing two key players to SuperSport (Evans Rusike) and Mamelodi Sundowns (Lebohang Maboe) who were a major key to their success last season‚ Davids still believes in the quality he has in his young squad.

“We know they are good players and they are just going through a period like they did last season.

“I think we went eleven games without a win and then we kick-started when we beat Cape Town City.

“We were 1-0 down at half-time but beat City 4-2 and we ended fourth on the log and also got to a Nedbank Cup final.

“It’s very similar to what we are experiencing this season.

“We know we assembled a good squad of young players and this is a moment to put trust in them.

“We also need to praise the good things they are doing and I have to show belief in them.

“I know that they will turn it around because they can’t be bad players overnight.

“So it’s a matter of getting that first win and the rest will follow.”

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