AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin says it’s motivation to be close to matching an Usuthu ‘record’ that was achieved in the Benni McCarthy era – should they beat Cape Town Spurs.
But Martin also has warned his side to be fully alert against a Spurs side, struggling to breathe at the bottom and grapple for every ounce of points.
Usuthu will host Ernst Middendorp’s Spurs, who are at the bottom of the DStv Premiership table with three points after 14 matches, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday (19:30).
Spurs have won only one game of those 14 matches, losing 13 – only they and leaders Mamelodi Sundowns are yet to draw a game. But Sundowns, unlike Spurs, have won all their league matches to comfortably sit at the top of the table.
“Very dangerous,” said Martin when asked how dangerous it is to play against a team that is scrapping for points.
“When you are a football player, you are part of the technical staff, these are thin lines you have to face and when you cross that line, you are probably not going to compete at the level that these games demand, you can think that they only have three points and that is the fact, that is the reality.
“But when you are watching their games, you can see that they are competing, they are creating goalscoring chances, they have good players.
“They won against one of the best teams in the country – Orlando Pirates. That speaks for itself, and I think it’s enough alert to take the game with its responsibility that it demands.”
Martin, whose side are 10th in the DStv Premiership table with 18 points after 14 matches, are motivated hugely to get points against Spurs. They would match the highest points tally attained in the first round of a season – of the 2020/21 campaign under Benni McCarthy, who though arrived in December 2020.
Usuthu collected 21 points after 15 matches in that term, with McCarthy’s side ensuring that by beating Bloemfontein Celtic 4-3 in February, in a cracking game at Hollywood Bets Kings Park Stadium, before finishing as runners-up to Mamelodi Sundowns.
“This is motivating enough. Yes, it will not be a championship trophy, but these are more pictures of the book we want to write since we are here,” said Martin, who was appointed at the beginning of 2023/24.
“Finishing with 21 points in 15 games, that is huge. And if we can get another clean sheet, it will be the first time in history to get eight in 15 matches. So, I think it is motivation enough for all of us to go for that and to leave our legacy once we leave in the future.”