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Usuthu out to avert third loss in a row

Downs test awaits Pablo Franco’s off-form side

Neville Khoza Journalist
TS Galaxy's Samir Nurkovic and Amazulu's Tshepang Moremi during the Carling Knockout, semi-final match on Sunday
TS Galaxy's Samir Nurkovic and Amazulu's Tshepang Moremi during the Carling Knockout, semi-final match on Sunday
Image: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart

AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco expects his side to raise their level when they host log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in a DStv Premiership match at King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday following back-to-back defeats.

Usuthu were eliminated in the Carling Knockout after losing 2-3 to TS Galaxy in the semifinal at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday.

That followed their loss to Stellenbosch in the league match and as they prepare to face Masandawana, Franco wants them to show the same mentality they did a few matches ago if they are to get something.

“We need to reflect and see the things we were doing well and not doing them recently because we cannot concede three goals,” Franco told the media.

“We didn’t play our best games but some of the things you can’t control.”

With his side’s confidence low following those defeats, the Spaniard insists it won’t be a challenge to pick them up for the Sundowns fixture.

“The best thing is we are playing in three days. It is a pity that we are not playing at our stadium,” he said.

“But l don’t mind because I prefer to play in stadiums, which have better conditions. But all the players want to play against Sundowns and I don’t have anything special to do in terms of motivation.

“They are showing that they are prepared and want to play against Sundowns. But if we want to fight for a top eight and be consistent in that, we must get some new signings in January.

“We need to work hard and recover the things we were doing well and keep on fighting. If we win a few games and get at least 20 points before the end of the year and in the second half of the season, we are going to be better.”

Sundowns, who remain unbeaten in the league after winning all their matches, will want to respond after losing 1-0 to TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League group stage on Saturday.

Fixtures

Tuesday: Pirates v Swallows, Orlando (7.30pm)

Wednesday: AmaZulu v Sundowns, King Zwelithini (7.30pm); Sekhukhune v Chippa, Peter Mokaba (7.30pm)

Friday: Stellenbosch v CPT, Danie Craven (7.30pm)

Saturday: Polokwane v Chiefs, Peter Mokaba (3.30pm); Chippa v Arrows, Nelson Mandela Bay (5.45pm); Pirates v Galaxy, Orlando, (8pm).

Sunday: Royal v Bay, Harry Gwala (3.30pm)


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