Smaill convinced Southern United capable of securing title

Graeme Smaill has four keys for Southern United on Saturday.

He wants his team to focus on composure, accuracy, intelligence and work-rate.

If it can nail down each of those, he thinks Southern will have a good chance of beating Canterbury United at Logan Park.

A win, or even a draw, would be enough to secure the title in the women’s South Central Series — this year’s national league alternative.

Southern leads both Canterbury and Capital by three points.

Capital will almost certainly make up that deficit against Central on Saturday.

If Canterbury can beat Southern, though, its goal difference would likely give it the title.

Needless to say, it is a high-stakes game.

For many of Southern’s players, it is not their first big one. There remains a strong contingent from the 2018 Dunedin Technical Kate Sheppard Cup-winning team, which was coached by Smaill.

That experience will be key, and Smaill said as long as the team focused on itself — primarily his four keys — it would do well.

"The girls’ workrate has been fantastic this season.

"I’m sure we’ll get that on Saturday. But we have lacked at times in the other three components, with composure, accuracy and intelligence.

"We need to improve that if we want to come away with the result this Saturday.

"I’m sure we can do that. But those things come from the individual, just concentrating on their roles and doing them correctly," he said.

The team bounced back from a 3-0 loss to Capital two weeks ago with a 3-1 win over Central on Sunday.

It was Southern’s fourth win in its five matches this season. That included a 2-1 upset of Canterbury in Christchurch on the season’s opening day.

It was also a dominant performance, despite not putting it beyond doubt until late in the game.

Being more clinical would be important against a Canterbury team that has won four in a row, after dropping its first two.

"It doesn’t matter how dominant you are in a game, if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, you don’t get the result.

"It’s something we’ve been aware of all season. It’s something we’ve probably struggled with more than we should.

"We’ve had clear-cut chances we haven’t put away. We won’t get a lot of opportunities to waste on Saturday.

"That’s going to be an important factor in the game as well, how well can we finish."

The game kicks off at 1pm.

 

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