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Leopards v Platinum Stars

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Palmer: Hoping for winning start

Palmer: Hoping for winning start

Platinum Stars will be looking to build on what has been a great start to the PSL season when they travel to the Peter Mokaba Stadium to face Black Leopards.

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Dikwena go into this game having recorded a convincing 4-0 win over Free State Stars in their most recent league encounter, a result that leaves Cavin Johnson's side in fifth position on the standings.

Thuso Phala was on fire in that match, scoring twice, and also subsequently being called up to the Bafana Bafana squad; it would appear the former Chiefs and Sundowns winger is really coming into his prime.

According to the 26-year-old, there is a belief in the squad that they are good enough to be competing with the league's best this term.

"It's always a great feeling to win, but scoring four goals against a top team of Free State Stars' calibre is a major achievement," said Phala.

"It goes to show that the new team assembled by the technical staff is beginning to gel. The days of Dikwena fighting for relegation are over."

Lidoda Duvha, meanwhile, have gone seven games without a win since beating Celtic 3-2 back on August 11.

Those seven outings have included three 2-2 draws and one 3-3 stalemate - clearly it's in defence where the Limpopo outfit need to tighten up.

Going forward, the likes of Mongezi Bobe and Rodney Ramagalela are always going to be a threat, but there will need to be an improvement at the back if one point is to be turned into three more regularly.

The match will be the first in charge for new Leopards coach Ian Palmer, who was brought in to replace Sunday Chidzambwa after he was implicated in Asiagate, the Zimbabwean national team match-fixing scandal.

Chidzambwa has subsequently been redeployed as technical director, meaning in all likelihood he will continue to have a strong influence on the team.

Whether or not this will be conducive to Palmer having a good working environment at the club will remain to be seen, the coach only saying for now: "Leopards are a quality team, they have their strengths and weaknesses.

"The first thing that needs to happen is to have a technical meeting and discuss the way forward and I am looking forward to adding some value at this club."

Posted: 06/11/12 14:42

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