Maduka calls for 'smart' approach against Swallows

football24 May 2024 15:45| © Backpage TXT
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John Maduka © Backpage Pix

Royal AM head coach John Maduka insists they have to be "smart" against Moroka Swallows at the Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday, May 25, in a bid to avoid the promotion/relegation playoffs.

Kick-off is at 3pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

Current form:

Thwihli Thwahla only need a point on the final day of the DStv Premiership season to guarantee their safety after holding Chippa United to a 0-0 draw last weekend.

Maduka's side are three points clear of Richards Bay in 14th place, but with a poorer goal difference (-20 to -14) which means that a loss against the Dube Birds could offer an escape for the Natal Rich Boyz, who play host to Stellenbosch.

The stalemate with the Chilli Boys arrested a five-match losing streak for the Durban outfit, although they remain without a win in their last seven outings.

Swallows retained their top-flight status after Richards Bay lost 3-1 to Cape Town City last weekend to leave the gap between the two clubs at five points.

Musa Nyatama's side had given their survival hopes a massive shot in the arm with a 2-0 victory over the Maroons on May 11 to take them above Royal AM up to 13th position.

What was said:

Royal AM head coach John Maduka

"The approach has to be smart. Of course, what we want is to win the game. We can't just go for a point even though it gives us an advantage.

"We are playing a good team and the pressure is not on them, it is on us. We will try to make sure that we play well.

"We must have balance going forward, but at the same time, also be able to defend. Not just cautious because sometimes you can do that and allow the opposition to come into your half and you concede.

"Like I said, when things are in your hands, it's okay. It is much better when it is in your hands. The boys are looking forward to the game. They know what they are capable of. We don't want to go to the playoffs.

"They want to go on holiday and to do that, they have to win the game. They know the importance of the game. They are in a relaxed mood and that's a good sign because sometimes you can make many mistakes while under pressure."

Players to watch:

Moroka Swallows - Gabadinho Mhango had the Birds' best chances against Matsatsantsa and should have added his name on the scoresheet when he failed to beat Ricardo Goss from 12 yards out on 80 minutes. It was the Malawian striker's second miss from the penalty spot in three games and he will be looking to add to his tally of seven goals for the season in Soweto.

Royal AM - Thabo Matlaba had a bright game against Chippa and was unfortunate not to open the scoring on 69 minutes when he hit the left post from inside the box after linking up nicely with Sedwyn George. The 36-year-old left-back threatened again on 77 minutes from a swift counter-attack, but Stanley Nwabali pulled off a fine save at point-blank range.

Head-to-Head: (Previous DStv Premiership Meetings)

Matches - 5

Swallows wins - 3

Royal AM wins - 1

Draws - 1