Palmgren backs players despite loss

AmaZulu coach Roger Palmgren still has faith in his players despite suffering their third consecutive loss, and their second in the Absa Premiership.


Usuthu failed to claim bragging rights as they went down 2-0 to Maritzburg United in the Kwazulu-Natal derby on Tuesday night.


Palmgren’s men went into the match aiming to bounce back following a heavy 6-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs, but their form in the first half showed that the result was still in the back of their minds.


The visitors spent most of the half camping in their half, leaving the isolated forwards to rely on long balls as their only supply, and as a result failed to put their opponents under any pressure.


Two defensive lapses in the second half allowed Zimbabwean striker Cuthbert Malajila to score a brace, taking his goal tally against AmaZulu to three goals in the last two meetings.


“I think the players were committed but we were punished in two crazy moments,” said Palmgren reflecting on the loss.


“We also had a problem with Stanley Kgatla and we had to change him.


“I think the players did quite well defensively in the first half but not so well offensively, so those are the things we have to keep working on.”


Usuthu have lost some key players during the offseason and although they have brought in new personnel to reinforce the squad, some of the new signings have been unable to make their debuts as they are still sorting out their paperwork.


Palmgren is hopeful that in the next week and a half they will be able to get their ducks in a row before another tough league encounter against Lamontville Golden Arrows on September 1.


“It’s an excuse but it’s a fact, we lost Thami Sangweni and Tangeni (Shipahu),” said Palmgren.


“Belux (Kasonga) has not been able to play so far and we have about five or six other players who should be playing and of course it’s been tough so it’s good to have this time to prepare.”


“We are still in a rough patch but I think we’ll overcome it as long as we stay together as a team and work hard everything is possible.


“Things are going well and I’m settling in and the guys are behind me but we are still trying combinations.


“I think we are gonna get there but it’s just a matter of time for the team to gel.


“It was very tough; I don’t know what happened, especially in the second half.


“In the first half we never played and we were just pumping the balls forward but we did better in the second half.


“I don’t have much to say except that we really have to work hard. We must change our attitude and work hard to turn things around.”





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