Johnson says his AmaZulu players are only fired up for matches against Chiefs‚ Pirates and Downs

AmaZulu head coach Cavin Johnson.
AmaZulu head coach Cavin Johnson.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Cavin Johnson has suggested that his AmaZulu players will be fired up for this weekend’s Telkom Knockout quarterfinal against Orlando Pirates‚ but questioned why they only seem to raise their game for matches against the ‘Big Three’.

It has long been a subject for discussion in SA about how players appear fired-up to face Kaizer Chiefs‚ Orlando Pirates or Mamelodi Sundowns‚ but cannot find that same energy and intensity for matches against other teams.

Johnson expects it to be no different this week after seeing his side limp to a 3-0 loss to Cape Town City on Saturday‚ where they committed a number of unforced errors on their way to the heavy defeat.

“You know what’s going to happen … whenever you play Chiefs‚ Pirates or Sundowns‚ it looks like somebody puts cocaine up their backsides‚” a frustrated Johnson said.

“It always looks like someone puts an injection up any teams’ backside. They [the players] just seem to come out of the blocks a little quicker‚ a little faster. At the same time‚ it looks like their heads are a little bit clearer as to understanding the tactics.

“When you see that you think‚ ‘Ja‚ this is a player I like’. But then the next week‚ it's back to ‘this is a player I could kill’. It’s the same players‚ it’s not like they have got masks on or something.”

AmaZulu sit bottom of the Absa Premiership after a six-point deduction from Fifa for an unpaid salary to Namibian player Phineas Nambandi.

Johnson admits the cup tie could be a distraction with their main aim survival this season‚ but believes also it could give them a much-needed boost of confidence.

“It may be a little bit of a distraction. They [Pirates] won and are on a major high‚ we lost and are on a major low.

"So it’s going to be a good game. I hope all the Zulus come out and sing for us.

“We need to be more aggressive‚ we need to play the way we can play. My team can play football.

"In the PSL‚ the games have been played at the King Zwelithini [Stadium] have been some of the best games to watch.”

AmaZulu are unbeaten at home this season with three wins and three draws in all competitions.

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