Amazulu coach Martin pleased with team’s progress

Amazulu coach Pablo Franco Martin. Picture: BackpagePix

Amazulu coach Pablo Franco Martin. Picture: BackpagePix

Published Mar 11, 2024


Amazulu coach Pablo Franco Martin. Picture: BackpagePix

Smiso Msomi

AmaZulu head coach Pablo Franco Martin has expressed great optimism in his side’s progress besides dropping points against SuperSport United.

Usuthu conceded halfway through the second half against Matsatsantsa and ended up having to share the spoils in Polokwane on Saturday. The KwaZulu-Natal-based outfit is still in search of their first win of 2024, having already lost against Cape Town Spurs and Mamelodi Sundowns before back-to-back draws against Moroka Swallows and SuperSport.

Despite these results, the Spanish-born mentor is thrilled with his team’s general standard in the time he’s been in charge and believes his men are ushering in a new era for Usuthu.

“The process is there,” he explained after the match against SuperSport.

“(On Saturday) all AmaZulu fans are proud of the team and this is the objective – keep growing and keep pushing and to keep making history, as we’ve been doing in the first part of the season.“

He further added: “We are changing the dynamic of this team in KZN and winning a lot of derbies when last season this team only lost or drew (against these teams), getting the second-best tally of points in the history of this team in the PSL whilst reaching a semi-final”.

“So, the objective is there and the results are there as well despite today’s situation where we switch off in the dying minutes of the game.”

Having targeted a place in the Top 4 of the Premiership standings at the end of the season, AmaZulu have not shown the required consistency to keep up with the likes of Orlando Pirates, Stellenbosch and SuperSport. Martin and his men are realistically in a battle to secure a place in next season’s MTN tournament with a finish inside the top.

Usuthu will have to ward off the interests of clubs like Sekhukhune United, Kaizer Chiefs, TS Galaxy and Golden Arrows, who have all been in and around those slots for the better part of the season so far.

Riaan Hanamub of Amazulu challenges Grant Margeman of Supersport United during their DStv Premiership clash on Saturday. Picture: BackpagePix

Ahead of their last match, AmaZulu had the opportunity to reel in fourth-placed Matsatsantsa to within four points with 10 games remaining in the season. However, having taken the lead through Victor Letsoalo in the first half, Usuthu allowed SuperSport a way into the game and ended up conceding similar to that of their match against Swallows last week.

Martin admitted that his side’s bad habit of forfeiting leads was a bad trait but was very pleased with Usuthu’s ever-growing confidence and sense of application.

“It’s a pity, because it’s the second game in a row where we’re conceding goals in the last minutes of the game. The attitude of the team was good because in the last 15 minutes of the game, if there was a team that was gonna win the game, it was gonna be AmaZulu.”

Usuthu will remain in Limpopo for at least another week as they prepare for the challenge of Babina Noko in the Nedbank Cup next weekend.