DURBAN - Thembela Sikhakhane is intent on biting the hand that partially feeds him. The Ulundi-born defender is on loan at AmaZulu from Orlando Pirates, who pay part of his salary.
Usuthu host the Buccaneers at the King Zwelithini Stadium in an Absa Premiership on Sunday (3pm), and Sikhakhane has made it clear that he is not going to treat the tussle as an audition to show the Pirates technical staff that he is worthy of the famous black and white jersey.
“I’m not going to show any mercy to Pirates. I’m here (at AmaZulu) to work. Yes, I have a contract with Pirates but they sent me here to work,” Sikhakhane explained as he vowed to put a spanner in the works for his title-chasing employers.
"I’m not going out to impress on Sunday. I will play my normal game. I won’t go there with mentality to prove a point because that can have a negative impact on my game."
He joined Pirates two seasons ago from Lamontville Golden Arrows but struggled for game time and was loaned to Usuthu at the start of the season.
“I hate losing. The last three games lifted our confidence. It gave us motivation going in to the last matches of the season."
And he believes victory will lift them far away from the dreaded relegation chop.
"As much as people are saying we are safe, I still feel we need to work more harder in the last few matches to cement our place,” Sikhakhane elaborated as he encouraged his team to put an extra effort for survival. "And three points against Pirates will ensure our safety."
AmaZulu are unbeaten in their last three matches having drawn 0-0 with Kaizer Chiefs, beaten Ajax Cape Town 2-1 and drew 1-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic.
They are 11th on the table with 32 points after 26 matches. Cavin Johnson's men have shown to have big match temperament with their results against the giants of the league pretty impressive.
Join us this Sunday as we host @orlandopirates at King Zwelithini Stadium in yet another mouth watering historic #AbsaPrem clash. Kickoff 3pm.
All Tickets: R40 at Computicket.#HistoricRivarly #UsuthuvsBucs #AbsaPrem #Usuthu_Unite #DurbanHasMore #UkhoziFM #IlangaNewspaper pic.twitter.com/y7zcSH5bE0
They have already beaten Sundowns, SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits and held both Chiefs and Pirates to draws. But will that good form continue against a Pirates beginning to believe they can snatch the title from Sundowns?
“Pirates are on form. They are very dangerous on transition. They are comfortable at keeping the ball. But we will be ready for them," Sikhakhane said "We need to keep our good momentum against the big clubs.
"It is always a motivation playing them. I don’t know our secret against big teams. We've done well against top teams and I believe we will also do well against Pirates. We have the momentum on our side.”