The Blue Hearts saw off a cocky Sekhukhune United last Friday win a narrow 2-1 win, but striker Thabiso Kutumela believes the win was big in other ways.
“I think the cup win will help us,” Kutumela told the club’s website. Maritzburg had used a mixture of young players and the old guard in the Ke Yona fixture.
The display however left coach Ernst Middendorp displeased especially with his older players as he felt they didn’t take the game seriously enough.
That is why they’ve had to work hard at training to convince the German mentor that they have what it takes to help the team out of their undesirable league position.
The Blue Hearts are 14th on the standings but are equal on nine points with Black Leopards and TTM who are behind them.
“We had lost three games in a row in the DStv Premiership (before the Nedbank Cup win) and this cup win is going to help us boost our morale to go into the league game that is coming on Friday” said the former Orlando Pirates marksman.
“We’ve been working hard since the cup win – we didn’t say, ‘let’s wait for Friday and get some rest’, we just carried on working hard from Monday and we can see progress to go forward to the TTM game,” he added.
TTM will also not be short of confidence having edged out SuperSport United 1-0 in a Nedbank Cup match last weekend.
They will also have the ‘new coach effect’ as it will be Dylan Kerr’s first time on the Vhadau vhaDamani bench after replacing Joel Masutha last weekend.
“Like us, TTM have not been good. But they won in the cup game against SuperSport United, so its going to be a tough one because they are motivated.
“They see their progress, like us. And so I think it’s going to be a tough game because we all need the three points.
“We are only separated by goal difference and it’s important to beat the teams around us, it will help us going forward,” concluded Kutumela.