By Sazi Hadebe
Kaitano Tembo has highlighted recovery and trying to be as fresh as possible as two key ingredients ahead of SuperSport United’s next DStv Premiership fixture against troubled Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) in Thohoyandou on Sunday.
The United coach said it has been very difficult for his side to play their last five league matches in 14 days and that could well have contributed to their flat start in the 1-1 draw against AmaZulu in Atteridgeville on Wednesday.
“We didn’t have a good start. We were always second to the ball and a little bit lethargic especially in possession of the ball‚” Tembo admitted after the game.
“We gave the ball away too cheaply and gave them too much space and time to play although they were really passing the ball just in front of us and not really threatening and getting behind our defence.
“But nevertheless I think in the second half we were better. We brought in a few fresh legs like Moses Waiswa as well as Jamie Webber. That created a better balance in terms of going forward.
“We started getting behind them and having more bodies into the box. I think [Thamsanqa] Gabuza and Bradley [Grobler] worked their socks off.
“But I was also impressed with the young Oswin [Appollis]. I think when he came on he did very well.
“We just had to dig deep to get a result and five games in 14 days is very taxing for the team.”
The Zimbabwean-born mentor said getting some time off to rest after games has been vital to SuperSport in making sure they don’t lose sight of Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows FC‚ who are just two points ahead of them after 12 rounds.
“Recovery has been very important for the players. We never really had too much time to train because we’re playing every after two days‚ so you can’t really train‚” said Tembo.
“You’ve got to focus more on the recovery of the players and I think that’s been helping us and we have got another game again on Sunday and there’s no training. It’s just recovery‚ recovery and recovery.”
Tembo said Sunday’s game against bottom side TTM will demand much more from his charges because they also have to come to terms with the blistering heat of Limpopo.
“It’s another tough game‚ you know. It’s always a difficult place to go and play at 3 o’clock in the afternoon with the heat‚” said Tembo.
“It becomes a little bit difficult on the players. But I think we’ll recover‚ refresh and make sure that we go there with the right mentality and go there also with fresh legs because that’s what we are going to need.”
SuperSport are unbeaten in eight matches in which they’ve won eight and drawn three.
A win in Thohoyandou may see Tembo’s side end the weekend level on points (27) with the log leaders if Saturday’s top of the table clash between the top two Sundowns and Swallows ends in a stalemate. Timeslive