Aces seek points against Tuks

The University of the Pretoria will aim to remove themselves from the relegation scrap when they welcome Mpumalanga Black Aces to the Tuks Stadium for an Absa Premiership match on Sunday afternoon, kick-off at 15:30.

The Pretoria outfit arrive into the ultimate matchday of 2013 on the back of two consecutive defeats to Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

“It is two games in four days. It has been a tough two games for all our boys because we have a young team with inexperience,” said Tuks captain Tebogo Monyai.

“We wanted to get something out of the games, but it was unfortunate that it didn’t happen. We will keep on putting everything game in and game out.

“There is a game on the weekend against Mpumalanga Black Aces that we are looking to pull ourselves three points."

Both losses were of a 1-0 scoreline and their recent of just two wins since September has left Steve Barker’s men in 12th place and just two points off the relegation play-off spot which is occupied by Free State Stars and Maritzburg United.

The defeat to the Buccaneers on Thursday evening saw tempers reach boiling point and Monyai was seen cast into the thick of things.

“It is one of those things that one goes through emotions. It was uncalled for me to react like that- it is the emotions of the game. I had to stand up and stand up for my players,” he added.

“Sometimes you can’t take when your players are getting pushed like that. As a senior player it was wrong to have done that. I had to do it myself, I am sorry, I had to react."

Aces’ sit just three points above their next adversaries and they arrive into the weekend encounter having taken off a 1-0 win from Free State Stars.

O.J Mabizela may have struck the only goal of the game but goalkeeper Calvin Marlin had mixed reactions about the fixture.

“Against Free State we dominated the game. They were very poor on the day, playing long balls and searching for scrappy seconds,” said the veteran.

“We had a few good chances but didn’t really take them. All in all, I think the result was fair in favour of us.”

Marlin added that he is fully aware things won’t be as easy coming up against Tuks despite their current form.

“We have played Tuks twice in friendlies and have lost both times. They are going through a bit of a bad patch, but they have to go through Pirates by the time they get to us,” he added.

“It will be an interesting game. We know Tuks fight hard for the 90 minutes.

“Looking at the league table you would never say there is a top for the bottom side because it is so tight. For us, we could have been second if we didn’t drop the points we did so we need to end the year on 20 points.

“That will leave us in good stead for the next half of the season because we don’t want to be fighting for our lives.”