South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Football Kingz vs. South – Preview

Football Kingz vs. South – Preview

Friday, 13 February 2004 12:00 AM

By Michael Tsoukalis

This Saturday’s trip to Auckland looms as very important game for South Melbourne. If Stuart Munro’s men harbour any hopes of a top two finish, a win against the bottom placed Kingz is a must.

Coming off an extremely disappointing result away to Adelaide United – where a victory would’ve propelled the Albert Park based club into 2nd spot – South will be keen to make amends against the league’s cellar dwellers.

The Kingz have lost their past three encounters, with the 47 goals they have conceded to-date ranking as the worst defensive record in the NSL. Their inability to achieve positive results is greatly reflected via their accumulated points tally; with their 9 point haul 7 points behind the second-from-bottom Melbourne Knights.

Attacking midfielder Heremaia Ngata remains a genuine threat from the centre of the park, his 5 goals so far this season sees him atop the Kingz’ goal-scoring charts. Ex-South youth player John Tambouras has also been ultra consistent for the Kingz this season with veteran former All White Chris Jackson providing experience and steel in the centre of the park.

Quite remarkably the Kingz have given a run to 27 individual players at some point throughout the season, an astonishing figure that doesn’t bode well for team cohesion and general player understanding.

Conversely, the Lakesiders with once again a near full complement of players to choose from will be looking for a solid display and eventual victory to not only cement 3rd spot, but to also stay alive for the coveted 2nd position which comes equipped with a double chance. A loss for Munro’s men would see Parramatta skip to a clear 6 point advantage, virtually confirming their position in the top 2.

If fit, last week’s late withdrawal Simon Storey will be expected to come straight back in to re-assume his left-back role. After openly being disappointed with the disjointed performance in Adelaide, a few selection changes to the first eleven may be implemented by Coach Munro. Munro was particularly critical with the effort shown by his players who he felt were “second and third” to most balls, the ex-Glasgow Rangers stalwart will be looking for a much improved all-round performance from his chargers and with so much to play for, an improved performance should be assured.

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