Benni McCarthy could compound more misery on his mentor Gavin Hunt when AmaZulu host Kaizer Chiefs at the Johnson Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Wednesday afternoon.
Hunt is under pressure to improve the performance of Chiefs, who have been faltering since the season started in October. Amakhosi are in unfamiliar territory near the relegation zone in 14th position on the DStv Premiership table.
McCarthy (43) has a good head-to-head record against Hunt (56), who he played under at the now defunct Seven Stars in the late 1990s. During his time as Cape Town City head coach, McCarthy got five wins over Hunt, who in turn had two wins against his protégé while in charge of Bidvest Wits.
McCarthy took over as Usuthu coach in December. In his three games in charge, the team has registered one win, while the other matches ended in a draw and a defeat.
AmaZulu midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe said his team would go all out against the slumbering Soweto giants. “As players, we need to see what we are not doing well from previous games. We need to take advantage and make use of our home ground. “People say Chiefs are not performing right now and think the game is ours, but we must still perform on the field. We need to win this game.”
Things are indeed tense at the moment at Naturena, Gauteng, with Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi comparing the changing room to a cemetery. “We have not been happy with ourselves. We have made the changing room a cemetery which is always cold. We need to change the mentality. We always hope that we will come right in the next game. I hope there will be a turnaround,” said the Nigerian international goalie.
“It’s only normal for our fans to be panicking about our situation. It looks like things are not coming right. Chiefs is a big team and a big brand. We don’t want to disgrace ourselves and embarrass the club. This team cannot be relegated and we are ready to take a different step.”
Akpeyi adds that the players have themselves to blame for their current situation. “We have not been getting it right with our decisions in games. Mentally we should be strong going into the next game. We have quality players who the team relies on, but sometimes we disappoint ourselves. In the next game we are taking the pain to AmaZulu. It’s high time we started making ourselves and the fans happy.”
Meanwhile, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila will host Orlando Pirates at the Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo. Pirates have won once domestically since lifting the MTN8 trophy in December. Bucs conceded a late goal in their last game to draw 1-1 with Swallows on Sunday.
In the other fixture on Wednesday, SuperSport United will host Bloemfontein Celtic in Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
DSTV PREMIERSHIP WEDNESDAY FIXTURES AT A GLANCE
AmaZulu vs Kaizer Chiefs (Johnson Kings Park Stadium, 3pm)
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila vs Orlando Pirates (Thohoyandou Stadium, 5pm)
SuperSport United vs Bloemfontein Celtic (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 5pm)