Calvin Marlin has managed to remain calm in the face of adversity ahead of Friday afternoon’s die or die Premier Soccer League (PSL) promotion/relegation playoffs showdown with Black Leopards at Rand Stadium, 15:00.
‘The Urban Warriors’ need to get maximum points to stay in contention of being promoted back to the Premiership, failure of which will put their fate of gaining promotion out of their hands.
What makes the match tricky for coach Marlin’s troops is that a win for Leopards will see them retain their Premiership status.
‘Lidoda Duvha’ won the reverse fixture 1-0 thanks to a solitary strike from Mwape Musonda.
Should the Limpopo side lose, the result of their last playoff encounter against rivals Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) on Monday will decide the eventual winners – the team to compete in South Africa’s top-flight for the 2020/21 season.
Marlin’s charges head into their final match of the playoffs on the back of an impressive 5-1 victory over TTM at Bidvest Stadium earlier this week.
“Big game on Friday, a must-win for us, we have to get a positive result, I’m not going to say how many goals we need but if we start with a win, get the three points and put the pressure on Leopards to get a big win in their last game,” said Marlin.
“The amount of chances we’ve missed in recent weeks, we could’ve scored 100 goals this season. I said to the players that we will give a team five goals sooner rather than later and it happened.”
Marlin says his men are in good spirits. “You can’t compare one game to another, but I hope we go out there on Friday and get off to a good start compared to the poor start to games we’ve been having.
“Hopefully we can get goals early and see out the game that is the ideal situation but football isn’t like that,” added the Ajax mentor.
“The boys are positive, and we just want to leave everything out there on the field. One more game, what happens in the last game [of the play-offs on Monday] is out of our hands. If we can do our job properly, win the game, then, whatever happens, happens.”
“It is all up to us now to hopefully beat Leopards by a good margin because that is what it will come down to at the end of the day. The players know what they are playing for,” he concluded.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi