Amazulu ready for challenge against Celtic

Samuel Darpoh of AmaZulu, seen here with Sphelele Mkhulise of Sundowns, should tread carefully against Celtic as he's on three yellow cards.
Samuel Darpoh of AmaZulu, seen here with Sphelele Mkhulise of Sundowns, should tread carefully against Celtic as he's on three yellow cards.
Image: Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images

You'd expect a team in AmaZulu's situation on the log to prioritise staving off relegation over any other competition.

However, Usuthu coach Jozef Vukusic feels giving the Nedbank Cup a full go won't have any deleterious effects on their battle to survive in the elite league.

The Durbanites are 15th on the table, having been enduring a poor season, with just 20 points from 21 outings.

In the first round of the Ke Yona Cup, Usuthu trade blows with an indifferent Bloemfontein Celtic outfit at Dr Molemela Stadium today at 3pm.

"My team is ready for the challenge against Celtic. We are very happy to go play the Nedbank Cup," said Vukusic.

"I don't think this cup can disrupt our plans to fight for our lives in the league.

"We are fully focused on this cup, we take it very seriously," he said.

"As you know that we won our last game [1-0 over fellow strugglers Polokwane City, who are bottom of the table, three points adrift after the same number of game], I think it's important to use the Nedbank Cup to try and keep that momentum. I can assure you that we will field a good team against Celtic."

Heading into this clash away to Siwelele, AmaZulu have a number of players such as Tapelo Xoki, Samuel Darpoh, Michael Morton and Mario Booysen, among others, sitting on three yellow cards.

This means the quartet, among others, are one caution away from suspension and would miss their crucial league clash against provincial foes Golden Arrows on February 15 if they're booked again tomorrow.

Even so, Vukusic has insisted he would still use them at Celtic, perhaps an indication that the Usuthu mentor is really prepared to give his all in the Nedbank Cup, despite their dire league state.

"There are more players on three cards, but some of them will play," he said.

"We want to keep the shape and play our game to the full ability," said the confident AmaZulu coach.

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