AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin has hit out at the PSL, saying the scheduling has been very tough on them.
Usuthu held Orlando Pirates to a goalless draw but lost defender Taariq Fielies and Veluyeke Zulu due to muscle injuries in the first half at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday.
The former Cape Town City steely defender was taken off in the 22nd minute and his replacement Zulu also did not last long as he had to be replaced in the 41st minute.
Martin’s side, having played on Saturday in an emotional and historical game as they beat Kaizer Chiefs in the Carling Knockout Cup Round of 16 – their first win in the knockout competition in the PSL era, only had one training session with the players on Monday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“It affected me mentally and in terms of game plan and tactical,” said Martin when asked how those two subs affected his game plan, as they were searching for their first win over Pirates in 10 years.
“In the end, I care for these guys and they are doing everything for us. What I have to do with these guys because they are going to be out of the pitch for a long time
“I think, as I told you, this can’t be about the better decision made from the guys [PSL leaders] who are setting up these games.
“If I’m the coach, I’m affected because we don’t have time to prepare the games.
“The first half we were forced to make two subs – two players in the same position. Imagine the difficulties of the second half, the changes we had to make because we only had one option in the second half for three subs.”
Despite the lack of goals, it was a good game to watch as it was a helter-skelter of the pace, but both sides weren’t represented with many chances to score as they were defensively sound.
But Pirates shaded the game as their intensity was superior to that of Usuthu – probing and provoking but they could not find a way to beat Veli Mothwa in goals.
The draw saw AmaZulu move up the table to 10th in the DStv Premiership with 11 points after nine matches, while Pirates are 13th with eight points from six matches.