Maduka urges Thwihli Thwahla to decide their own fate

football17 May 2024 14:20| © Backpage TXT
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John Maduka © Gallo Images

Royal AM head coach John Maduka insists their destiny is in their own hands as they prepare to host Chippa United at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

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


Thwihli Thwahla find themselves fighting for survival after back-to-back defeats against DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns left them just two points clear of the danger zone.

Maduka's side have now suffered five defeats on the spin to open the door for Richards Bay to catch them in 14th place with two games left to play in the season.

Maduka is concerned that the Durban outfit won't make it out of the promotion/relegation playoffs as his squad is thinly stretched due to a Fifa transfer ban.

The Chilli Boys will be looking to arrest a four-match winless run in a bid to keep their top-eight hopes alive.

Thabo September and Kwanele Kopo's side snapped a three-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw against Golden Arrows on 12 May which put them level on 33 points with AmaZulu (12th) and two adrift of Kaizer Chiefs (8th) in 11th position.

Chippa have yet to beat Royal AM in five attempts and lost 3-2 in the reverse fixture at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on August 30.


Royal AM head coach John Maduka

"It is not easy, especially when you only have these players that you rely on [week in, week out]. The big challenge is that these players are, at the same time, not seasoned players like your Thabo Matlabas, who have been there, doing it week in, week out for years, who are used to that (playing regularly).

"Most of our players are only used to playing about six, seven or eight games in a season, and now they are stretched to play more games. That is why you will find that it is more difficult [for them], especially now at the end of the season.

"They are simply just not used to playing so many games. There is nothing that we can do, but we were talking with the players [saying] that, if there is something we would not want to do, is to go to the playoffs.

"[Should we go there] It is going to be very, very difficult for us. It is still in our hands ... We still have two games to play. They are difficult games, of course. We've got one against Chippa and we must win it - it is still in our hands."


Royal AM - While putting the ball in the back of the net has been a problem for Thwihli Thwahla, their defence has also conceded the joint-most goals this season (42).

It could have been a lot worse had it not been for Hugo Nyame, who pulled off numerous saves in the two recent clashes with Brazilians to prevent his team from being humiliated.

The 38-year-old goalkeeper has kept just four clean sheets in 16 appearances and was recalled to the starting line-up for the last three games after being benched for the previous four outings.

Chippa United - Sinoxolo Kwayiba has enjoyed a promising debut season with the Chilli Boys following his arrival from Pretoria Callies in August, having waited patiently for his chance and seizing it in the last two months.

The 24-year-old winger has scored four goals in his last seven appearances and registered his first assist against Arrows after pouncing on a defensive mistake before holding the ball up and squaring it for Brooklyn Poggenpoel to open the scoring.

HEAD-TO-HEAD (Previous DStv Premiership Meetings)

Matches - 4

Royal AM wins - 3

Chippa wins - 0

Draws - 2