ISHMAEL MOHLABE

Since the second half of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign began earlier this year, AmaTuks have struggled to take maximum points from games. They have only managed three points out of a possible 15 in their last five games. Speaking exclusively to Perdeby, AmaTuks’ captain and central defender Tebogo Monyai insisted that mental strength is the only reason the team has not been scoring goals.

Monyai told Perdeby that the scoring problem is an obvious challenge and that AmaTuks have been dealing with it at the training grounds ahead of their remaining nine PSL games. “It’s not something that needs a microscope [to be noticed]. For the past couple of games we were not scoring and that’s where our biggest problem lies. However, we are working on that every time here at the training grounds,” Monyai said.

The Tshwane-based team started the PSL season well. They collected vital points in their first five games of the PSL last year, earning nine points for the PSL log.

Monyai pointed out that one of the reasons why the team’s performance in the last five games has not matched previous form is that other teams now know how to play against AmaTuks. “Other teams are not sleeping. They are doing their research on us. When we started, no one knew us very well so most of the teams couldn’t play [well enough against us],” he explained. “They have now studied our team very well and they now know us better than they knew us before.” Despite AmaTuks’ struggle to convert scoring opportunities into goals in their recent games, Monyai outlined that their style of play remains the same. He said, “We are still doing the very same thing we were doing when we started. We are working hard and tactically we are improving every day. Most of the teams are looking to do well in the league – that’s why you see [a lot of draws] in the game.”

AmaTuks have not been doing well at home and have managed only one win at Tuks Stadium. But Monyai maintains that psychological tactics are a temporary setback the team is experiencing at the moment. “It’s an issue of mental strength. I personally don’t believe that we can’t do well at home. It’s a mental thing. Once we get a win [at home], we will overcome that and make sure that we approach [an] away and home game the same way,” said Monyai.

The University of Pretoria is currently ninth on the PSL log with 26 points after 21 games. Steve Barker’s side will face the defending champions Orlando Pirates next week Saturday at FNB Stadium. Pirates are second on the log with 42 points after 21 games. AmaTuks lost 3-1 to Pirates in their first PSL clash at Loftus last year.

Photo: thewitness.co.za

 

 PSL Log
Teams
1. Kaizer Chiefs
2. Orlando Pirates
3. Platinum Stars
4. Free State Stars
5. Bloem Celtic
6. Bidvest Wits
7. Supersport United
8. Maritzburg United
9. University of Pretoria
10. Moroka Swallows
11. Mamelodi Sundowns
12. Golden Arrows
13. AmaZulu
14. Black Leopards
15. Ajax Cape Town
16. Chippa United

 AmaTuks
Upcoming Fixtures

30 March v Orlando Pirates
(FNB Stadium)

3 April v Bloem Celtic
(Tuks Stadium)

6 April v AmaZulu
(Tuks Stadium)

17 April v Mamelodi Sundowns
(Loftus Stadium)

20 April v Free State Stars
(Tuks Stadium)

27 April v Black Leopards
(Peter Mokaba Stadium)

1 May v Bidvest Wits
(Tuks Stadium)

18 May v Kaizer Chiefs
(Loftus Stadium)

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