MPUMALANGA Black Aces' coach Aki Agiomamitis is confident that his struggling charges will regroup and beat Nathi Lions in the second leg of the national playoffs on March 27.
Agiomamitis failed to impress the club's loyalists of his hunger to return to the Absa Premiership when his team drew 2-2 with Nathi Lions at Puma Rugby Stadium on Wednesday night.
The police had to rescue him from angry supporters for the second time in as many matches - the first time being after the club was kicked out of the Telkom Knockout by SuperSport United on Sunday.
Agiomamitis blamed the team's dismal performance on the players' loss of concentration, while sources in the club blamed the coach's poor command of English. An insider said he had struggled to pass instructions to the players on and off the field.
"After (scoring) the two goals we did not play according to our game plan, instead we lost focus and concentration, hence we were punished. We did not play like a club that campaigned in the Absa Premiership," said Agiomamitis yesterday.
"Should the players change their attitude and try to understand the situation we find ourselves in, we are confident to win the second leg and the final to retain our Premiership status."
AmaZayoni are likely to face Amabhubesi without five senior players, who were allegedly told to train with the club's academy last week. They are Teboho Mokoena, Clifford Mulenga, Oscar Ramogadi, Sibusiso Themba and Jacob Machaka.
Lions coach Mlungisi "Professor" Ngubane promised that they would work hard despite the cushion of two away goals.
"We will make sure that we don't concede a goal during the opening minutes like we did against Aces in our first game. Despite that problem, the boys are on the right track and ready to fight for a place in the elite league," Ngubane said yesterday.