Larsen pleased with KZN derby results

Clinton Larsen was pleased to have claimed his first points in Maritzburg United colours after leading his new club to victory over AmaZulu in the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Sunday.

An own-goal from Marc van Heerden and Thokozani Sekotlong strike ensured that the Team of Choice claim a 2-0 Absa Premiership triumph at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

It was United's third win of the season, sprouting them up to sixth on the table and also helped Larsen bounce back from a 1-0 loss to SuperSport United in his first game during midweek.

“I was very disappointed with the first half 45 minutes," he said afterwards. "We didn’t show the intensity we did against SuperSport, but after a few tactical changes in the team, it worked better in the second half.

"That resulted in us creating more chances going forward. So I’m very happy with the second half and could have been four or five in the end, but it’s great to have my first win at my new club."

The first goal came in the 46th minute of play when Van Heerden turned the ball into his own net from close range while attempting to clear an effort from Yakubu Mohammed.

The visitors then doubled their lead on the hour mark as Sekotlong broke the offside trap on the left side of the box, neatly collected Ryan de Jongh's pass and beat the approaching Tapuwa Kapini with an exquisite curler into the far post.

“We are work in progress, I think we’ve seen the patterns of play, and we’re trying to bring that element into the team now where there’s a lot more confidence in playing through the defence into midfield," Larsen explained. "I’m sure over time we’ll improve.”

The former Bloemfontein Celtic coach says they want to start building from the back, rather than just playing long balls, something the club had been doing in the recent pass, and utilise quick players going forward.

“I’ve inherited a team that does have quick players and we’ve got to utilise them to their strengths," he added.

"To complement those quick breaks we need to improve our decision making and movements at the top and I’m sure once we have got that right, we’ll be more dangerous.”

AmaZulu coach Craig Rossle insisted there was no need to press any panic button, despite the club suffering a third straight loss – two in the league and one in the Telkom Knockout.

The latest result was also hot on the heels of Usuthu's 7-1 thrashing by Mamelodi Sundowns in midweek and saw the Durban side slip to seventh on the log.

“It’s just a matter of confidence, basically we did extremely well up till now," he said. "One game and everybody starts pushing panic button but there’s no need for that.

"We are still in around with everyone at the top of the table so there is no need to panic.”