With the MTN8 and the league title gone, the Nedbank Cup is Arthur Zwane’s only chance at redemption.
That will be on his mind as Amakhosi wrap up their preparations for tomorrow evening’s last 32 encounter at Harry Gwala Stadium against Maritzburg United.
The fact that the game will be a sold out encounter shows how much it means to Amakhosi fans.
Zwane and his charges are left with no choice but to deliver, and he knows it too.
“The players know what is at stake. We are going there with one thing in mind, to dig deep and make sure we go through.
“They have changed their style from how they started, so it is not going to be easy for us going to them with home ground advantage even though we’ll probably have more supporters.
“They are always there to cheer us on and give us that extra boost.”
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While the supporters might give the players much needed inspiration to perform above themselves, they may also be a source of added pressure, especially when things do not go according to expectations.
Since Fadlu David’s return, Maritzburg have improved tactically, they are harder to break down and more lethal on the counter-attack.
The current Kaizer Chiefs side have shown signs of their inability to deal with pressure, and God knows they will have a lot of pressure to deal with against the Team of Choice.
Fadlu David’s side have a tendency to defy the odds when playing at home against the big guns.
They thrive within the atmosphere of their compact Harry Gwala Stadium, becoming a totally different side from the one that shows up against smaller teams.
What makes them more dangerous is the fact that big crowds don’t intimidate them, instead, they become more inspired, and an inspired underdog is a dangerous beast.
And they don’t get more inspired than on Friday nights.
“Friday night at Harry Gwala is normally a special occasion on its own, ” Fadlu Davids said.
“And Kaizer Chiefs coming to the city brings excitement. It’s definitely a match both teams want to win, Kaizer Chiefs are playing for silverware, and this is probably the competition they would really focus on and we are playing to win.
Despite their relegation battle troubles, Maritzburg United would love nothing more than a win tomorrow evening, which might motivate them to go as far as possible in the tournament and give them a confidence boost for the league games.
Winning against Amakhosi might help them build a strong momentum going forward.
Kimvuidi, Samu and Ali Meza will be key for the Team of Choice, should they start, while Amakhosi’s new hope, Saile might want to use this game to properly introduce himself to South African football fans.
Amakhosi’s injury troubles and Maritzburg United’s relegation worries will take the back seat tomorrow, as the players prepare to leave it all on the field of play.