AmaZulu desperate for win at Pirates

Tapelo Xoki of AmaZulu, right, and Judas Moseamedi of Maritzburg United.
Tapelo Xoki of AmaZulu, right, and Judas Moseamedi of Maritzburg United.
Image: Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images

While their coach Jozef Vukusic is said to be living on borrowed time, AmaZulu skipper Tapelo Xoki feels victory against an on-form Orlando Pirates side at Orlando Stadium tomorrow would see them turn the corner.

Sowetan has established that the club's hierarchy has given Vukusic an ultimatum to garner at least five points from their next three fixtures versus Pirates, Polokwane City and Golden Arrows, to save his job.

The Slovakian, who replaced Cavin Johnson in September last year, has won only four of the 15 league matches he's overseen at the Durban club, with eight defeats and three draws.

Heading into tomorrow's (6pm) encounter at Pirates, Xoki, who formerly used Nyongo as his surname, oozes optimism.

The Usuthu captain understands how a win against big teams like the Buccaneers boosts the confidence of strugglers like them.

"Winning at Orlando Stadium against a high-flying Pirates would be massive for us.

"We want to start collecting points and it is such games where you need to show that you can compete at this level,'' Xoki told Sowetan yesterday.

"Confidence wise, we are struggling a bit and we need something to boost our morale and beating Pirates is really what we need at the moment.

"I am positive that we can upset them. At this stage, it's important to stay focused and deal with the task at hand, rather than looking at negative things.''

AmaZulu are languishing bottom of the standings, with just 17 points from 19 games. Nevertheless, Xoki maintains that as players they still have faith in Vukusic.

"The coach is working very hard and we believe in him. [we are] committed to work for him,'' said the Usuthu captain, who've played 15 of the club's 17 league games this season.

"As players, we're not panicking at all. I think we've been unlucky, so it's important to keep on working hard, hoping that luck will be on our side soon.''

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