coach Pablo Franco Martin

Why AmaZulu coach ‘doesn’t like’ CKO double-header 

Home » Why AmaZulu coach ‘doesn’t like’ CKO double-header 

AmaZulu FC head coach Pablo Franco Martin has explained why the Carling Knockout Cup quarterfinal double-header will be a “disadvantage” for his side.

Usuthu are set to play against Lamontville Golden Arrows in a highly anticipated KZN derby at Moses Mabhida stadium on Saturday at 7:00 pm.

This will be the second match of the double-header scheduled for the day, with the early kick-off seeing Richards Bay FC against Orlando Pirates at the same venue at 3:00 pm.

Usuthu advanced to the quarterfinal round after beating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in the last minutes of the match at FNB stadium two weeks ago.

And while many think Saturday’s second tie will benefit by having a big crowd that would have attended Pirates and Bay earlier during the day, Martin thinks otherwise.

He’s concerned about the pitch, saying it could favour Arrows who are used to playing in poor pitch conditions.

He’s also worried that they will be given a little chance to use their home venue properly before the game. This includes the training the day before the match, matchday pre-match meetings and lunch. 

AmaZulu FC head coach Pablo Franco Martin double-header

 “Of course, there is a clear disadvantage, we cannot use our facilities properly,” he said during the club’s media open day.

“We are supposed to play in our pitch, we are supposed to train in our pitch and we don’t know yet if we are going to be able to train there a day before, which is a huge disadvantage because you are also seeing the kind of facility we are having here in the province, so we have to train properly.


“From there, it’s a huge disadvantage we are camping as well in the stadium, we are having lunch day, we are having our pre-match meetings there.

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“So, we need to change our scenario and let’s see what happens with our dressing room and of course, the kind of game that we want to play is going be possible to be played if the pitch is in good condition, properly if it’s not in good condition is going to facilitate things for Arrows because they are used to play this kind of games, this kind of football in that kind of pitch.

“So, from there, it is what it is. I said I don’t like it, but it is what it is. And in any of the circumstances, we are going to be competitive. This is what I know 100% for sure because we already faced a lot of difficulties during what we saw the last week that happened in one of the games, especially against Pirates and Chippa with injuries.

“We are always there, and we are always facing those difficulties and we are always performing and fighting; that’s what we are going to do. “It is going to be difficult, maybe depending on the weather or maybe the condition of the pitch, to play the kind of football we want to play properly, then we will adapt and we will try to get the qualification for the semi-finals.”

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