Mthatha Bucks coach Ian Palmer wants his charges to prove their worth when they take on Cape Town All Stars in their National First Division clash at the Mthatha Stadium tomorrow.
Amathol’amnyama are coming in to the game with two losses after they were beaten 1-0 by Stellenbosch FC at home before a 3-1 defeat to Royal Eagles at the Harry Gwala Stadium last weekend.
Palmer said he had a “nice chat” with the boys after the latest results and he was feeling positive about their next game.
“As much as I take full responsibility, it’s also good to see they are also taking some responsibility for the losses.
“We’ve been doing a lot of finishing, working in front, because we create so many chances but we still can’t put them in to the back of the net. He said the club didn’t have any injuries and Lucky Mathosi would be soon making a comeback after being out due to injury.
“Mathosi had a very good training week together with Luyolo Nomandela who did very well last weekend and Shane Thompson is back from a suspension – and it feels good to have them back again,” the coach said.
“You’ll recall what happened during the Jomo Cosmos and [Cape Town] All Stars game. At one stage they [Cape Town All Stars] were nine men in and they held on – so that tells me that they are a team that has a lot of character and can defend well.
“We’ve analysed most of their games and we noticed that they always win 1-0 and immediately they score they draw back and defend the entire 90 minutes and win those games. So we need to make sure that we score because if we manage to get one in – they’ll start opening up for us,” the coach said.
Palmer said it was very important for them to get the result now “because in the NFD if you don’t get the desired results after two games – you are gone”.
Palmer said he wouldn’t deny the fact that he was under a lot of pressure.
“That’s what we sign up for as coaches but I won’t be distracted because my team is coming along nicely. [Sakhele] Nhlabathi will be back in the squad also, but we have to see what happens, because we also need to get a team that can expose All Stars and there might be one or two changes to the squad so we can try and break them.”
Palmer said it was unfortunate during their last game [against Royal Eagle] he didn’t have much players to choose from but now he had a wider team he would pick from and players had to prove themselves.
“It doesn’t matter who I play regardless of the quality, the players have to show their worth, so for me that is more important now.
“Coming from back-to-back losses always puts one under pressure, I don’t put much on the players because all they gotta do is to go out and get the desired results.
“They must not feel the pressure I’m under, because it doesn’t affect them because at the end of the day they will still be here.”
He said when playing at their homeground there was always an electrifying atmosphere and it was up to the boys to utilise that positive energy from the fans.
“They need to make sure they incite fear into the opponent using the support from fans and the opposition should be wary of us, as we are the wounded tigers at the moment. But other coaches might underestimate a team in our position and that would be in our favour.”