Maduka ponders changes against Sundowns 

Maduka ponders changes against Sundowns 

Royal AM coach John Maduka is pondering possible changes against league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns after his side were stretched to extra time in the Nedbank Cup by Golden Arrows at the weekend. 

Maduka’s side are through the quarterfinals of the cup, beating their crosstown rivals 3-1 but are now dealing with tired legs, and a loss of key players to injuries. 

They face DStv Premiership title holders Sundowns at Loftus Stadium on Tuesday knowing they will have to be at their best. 

"We have to be flexible going into the Sundowns game because we also have a couple of injuries (Hugo Nyame and Tebogo Potsane) so we have to see how we can be able to manage the players and try as much as we can to do everything we can to make sure that they recover before we play the game against Sundowns.  

And if some don't recover means we have no choice but to make sure we rotate. We still have good players that were not in the squad, but very good players that can also represent the team well", Maduka told the media. 

Maduka wanted to avoid playing 120 minutes against Arrows, but believes the fitness of his Royal AM outfit was evident. 

"It took a lot. From now on there's nothing much that we can do for the players. We prayed before, that it [the game] won't go into extra time, but this is what God provided for us. Once we got to extra time, we knew we've got a fit team, a team that has character and the boys really showed that character"

With a 17-point lead in the premiership, Sundowns are certain to retain the league title and reaffirmed their dominance by dismantling Egyptian giants Al Ahly 5-2 in the Caf Champions League group stages on Saturday. 

Asked if the Brazilians can be stopped, Maduka quipped: “if they didn't have a match (in the domestic league) then we were not supposed to play against them. They have the match, so teams have to play against them. I think it's a good time that we are facing Sundonws. We know that it's going to be a very very difficult team to play against" 

Royal AM are seventh on the log table and are enjoying a six-game unbeaten run since Maduka took over last month.