UP-Tuks will travel to Mafikeng in Round 4 of Varsity Football knowing that a positive result against NWU Mafikeng is needed to get their season back on track.
The Stripe Generation are still reeling after their 4-0 loss to UJ last week (during the double header which they hosted), so head coach Tlisane Motaung has had the arduous task of resetting his squad mentally.
“It was hard to stomach the loss against UJ. We were in it from the get go but our own goal gave UJ the platform to strike,” Motaung laments.
“It dealt a massive blow to our morale but we have been here before. In 2013 and 2017, we lost badly but still went on to win the competition so there is hope for us yet.”
The match against NWU is a pressure cooker of sorts as both teams are desperate need of points (NWU also lost their double header clash), while UP-Tuks will have the daunting task of playing their first away match of the season in a very hostile Mafikeng.
“We are under pressure to perform against NWU but, to be honest, I think we play our best football when our backs are against the wall. It is not going to easy going to Mafikeng as they have a very vocal home support so we need to be vigilant on game day,” Motaung concludes.
Motaung has been forced to make a few changes to his line-up for the clash against the Noble Boys as captain Simbongile Njokwe suffered a back injury last week – so senior player Katlego Motlhatsang will take over the armband.
UP-Tuks (vs NWU): 16. Giovanni Idi (GK), 7. Jurgen Booysen, 3. Sabelo Tsambo, 23. Chinedu Okolo, Wandile Dlamini, 11. Lebohang Montueli, 10. Mogau Khwinana, 20. Katlego Motlhatsang (capt), 26. Mathuane Selotola, 15. Siphamandla Ntuli, 9. Nhlanhla Mabaso.
Replacements: 18. Tyler Den Heyer (GK), 2. Tobatsi Roets, 4. Edward Rankwe, 14. Ross Marshall, 22. Curtis Mathebula, 24. Jerry Tlou, 25. Sive Mfala.
Kick-off for Thursday’s game at NWU-Mafikeng Stadium is at 18:15 and will be televised live on SuperSport 4. Tickets for the game are available for just R10 if you use the Varsity Sports App, downloadable from the Apple App Store on iOS devices or from the Google Play store for Android users.
By Dan Lombard