AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy eyeing a third win in a row against Bloemfontein Celtic

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy during the DStv Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at Kings Park Stadium on January 13 2021 in Durban.
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy during the DStv Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at Kings Park Stadium on January 13 2021 in Durban.
Image: Steve Haag /BackPagePix/Gallo Images

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy is eyeing a third win in a row when his charges face Bloemfontein Celtic in a league match at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Tuesday.

McCarthy is set to make some changes to his line-up and hopes they will not have an impact on the team's balance.

“We’re looking to make changes and shift things around‚ and hopefully it won’t cost the team a valuable three points because at home we’re starting to find our footing and we’re looking good and strong‚” McCarthy said.

“So we want to continue that momentum [of winning]. When it’s home games we must make it a bit of a challenge for the teams that come to the Kings Park Stadium.

“So yes‚ we’re just hoping that we have got another opportunity to play and win against this Celtic side‚ which is a dangerous.”

After back-to-back victories against Baroka FC (2-0) and Stellenbosch (2-1) last week‚ McCarthy said he gave his players two days off and hopes they will be invigorated when they meet Phunya Sele Sele.

AmaZulu played six matches in January‚ winning two‚ drawing three and losing one since McCarthy replaced Ayanda Dlamini.

“I had to give the boys some days off after the Stellenbosch game and ja‚ there were a lot of heavy legs‚” he said.

“When the schedule is so busy and so hectic‚ we have to try and manage the situation better.

“I gave the boys two days off‚ and so we had our training (on Monday) and everyone looked in good spirit.

“But there’s still a bit of a worry that with so many games‚ and with so little time for recovery‚ you don’t want to lose players to long-term injuries.”

McCarthy said his team is in a better position to perform better than they did against Celtic in the first round where they couldn’t take a number of the chances they created.

“It’s a game where we are going to have to make some changes from the side that beat Stellenbosch‚ and the side that played so well and beat Baroka.

“Celtic have got some very good players‚ they know the movements and they are an attacking and offensive team‚ but so are we.

“It will be an open game and I hope we’ll keep better discipline‚ shape and hopefully we don’t let them off the hook like we did in the last match where we threw away two points [1-1].

“Hopefully now when we have another opportunity we have our scoring boots on.”

With last season's top striker Bongi Ntuli returning from injury and scoring two goals in four matches‚ McCarthy feels his team is capable of retaining seventh position.

“We’ve got a stronger team this time around. The boys that were out against Celtic in the first round are all back‚ so hopefully we can add three points to our tally.

“That will help immensely in moving away from the chasing pack.”

Celtic will be looking to boost their own run which has been a mixed bag of one victory‚ three draws and one loss in the last five matches.

A win for John Maduka’s team will take them from 12th place to the ninth spot with 17 points after 14 matches.

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