Pablo Franco Martin insists AmaZulu are better than recent results suggest

AmaZulu head coach Pablo Franco Martin. Picture: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

AmaZulu head coach Pablo Franco Martin. Picture: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

Published Dec 13, 2023


AmaZulu head coach Pablo Franco Martin has dismissed any assumptions that there is concern regarding what he deems a ‘bogus’ three-game losing streak across all competitions.

Usuthu are hard at work preparing for the visit of Sekhukhune United to the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Wednesday, following a horrid run of results in both the league and in cup competition.

AmaZulu’s most recent defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns came after the side was controversially eliminated from the Carling Knockout by TS Galaxy, after being beaten by Stellenbosch a week before that.

The Spanish-born mentor, however, has stated that those results are not a true reflection of his side’s performances in recent weeks, as numerous factors like outstanding goalkeeping from the opposition and poor officiating have denied his side their “deserved” triumphs.

“We are losing the games,”

Martin said yesterday, “but on the paper after the games, I don’t feel like we are losing and that is the reality.

“Against Sundowns, for me, as I said, we won the game. But someone decided that we are losing. Against TS Galaxy (in the Carling KO) semifinal, it was the same situation.

“There are things that we cannot control. “Against Stellenbosch, we lost, and you see they were in the same position as us. They have won three games in a row – that is our objective now in the last part of the year – and are in the final (of the Carling KO).

“We were superior in most phases of the game, we created most chances, and their goalkeeper was player of the match.

“Yes, we lost three games on paper, not deserving any of them in terms of football, in terms of goalscoring chances or conceded, and the factors that we cannot control like referees. “We probably would have been in the final and counting many points in the league. But this is what it is. I cannot worry about things that we cannot control.”

Sekhukhune United are experiencing a relatively decent patch having won two and drawn one of their last three games in all competitions, with new head coach Lehlohonolo Seema seemingly pulling the right strings.

Babina Noko are coming off CAF Confederation Cup duty over the weekend where they continued their pursuit of progression from the group stages with a well-earned point against Stade Malien from Mali.

The Limpopo-based outfit also kept back-to-back clean sheets ahead of the clash against Usuthu, a streak they’ll want to keep going if they are to better their record against the KwaZulu-Natal-based club.

AmaZulu have not lost to Sekhukhune since 2021 when the side was in its debut campaign. In the five meetings between the teams, they have beaten each other once while the other three fixtures have ended in draws. Moreover, the KwaZulu Natal club’s recent poor spell has seen them not only bundled out of a possible R6.6 million payday in the KO Cup but also dropped them into the relegation conversation.

The club concluded the previous season in a lousy 12th spot, just three points away from the now-relegated Maritzburg United, who occupied 15th.

Martin has made it a point to help his side avoid being drawn into the same predicament again and will want to move away from the 14th position they occupy ahead of the visit of Sekhukhune.