Home Sport Unlucky AmaZulu out to assert themselves against Stellenbosch

Unlucky AmaZulu out to assert themselves against Stellenbosch

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The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit have had a fairly disappointing season by their standards as they go into the final four games of the campaign in 12th spot in the DStv Premiership standings.

Mlondi Mbanjwa of AmaZulu FC. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky, BackpagePix

Smiso Msomi

AmaZulu midfielder Mlondi Mbanjwa has said that it is a case of all hands on deck for him and his teammates as they try to make their luck after a period of misfortune.

Usuthu will travel to the Danie Craven Stadium on Wednesday for a difficult clash against CAF competition aspirants Stellenbosch FC. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit have had a fairly disappointing season by their standards as they go into the final four games of the campaign in 12th spot in the DStv Premiership standings.

The club finished in 12th last season, with a poor run of results costing former coach Romain Folz his job while Ayanda Dlamini also failed to secure a permanent post after guiding the club to safety.

AmaZulu, now under the stewardship of head coach Pablo Franco Martin, were also eliminated from the Nedbank Cup by Orlando Pirates in an ill-tempered game where they were on the wrong end of poor officiating.

Newly inducted Bafana man Mbanjwa opened up about the disappointment at not having the results to show for a number of fine performances they’ve put in this season.

“Luck hasn’t been on our side lately, judging from the last few games that we’ve been playing. We won just the Chippa (United match) and we were very fortunate there, but (in) the other games the results just haven’t gone our way. But we’re looking forward to fixing that in the last four games by improving (our chances of) making it in(to) the top eight, which is our main priority at the moment,” he said.

AmaZulu’s inconsistency in results not only makes them a target for teams but also makes them unpredictable, as any side could turn up on the day.

Martin has seen his side win two and lose three of their past five games in all competitions, the last defeat coming against relegation-threatened Richards Bay in their previous league outing.

The Spanish-born mentor has already expressed the likeliness of a wholesale change in his squad next season with several names linked with exits from the club. However, until then Martin will have to muster up the motivation to keep his team running until the end of the season.

One of those names linked with an exit from the club is Mbanjwa, who has caught the eye of several teams in his debut campaign in the top flight. The 25-year-old has placed his focus on the remaining matches and expects a difficult game against second-placed Stellenbosch next.

“It won’t be an easy game against Stellenbosch, especially because we’re playing them away,” he said.

“They’ve done well in their last 23 or 24 games, they’ve lost just one game (against Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup).

“We have to up our game, especially after the last game’s defeat against Richards Bay. I think we really need to up our game and ahead of this game we’ve been working very hard towards that, so I’m confident in saying we’re well-prepared.”

The previous meetings between these two teams have favoured Stellies recently, with coach Steve Barker’s men winning the last two.

Usuthu will look to reclaim their dominance over this fixture, having not lost to Stellies until last year. While the Western Cape-based side seek to solidify their CAF slot, a win for AmaZulu could see them go into matchday 27 inside the top eight.

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