FIFA ban a major factor in Royal AM slump says John Maduka

FIFA ban a major factor in Royal AM slump says John Maduka

Royal AM coach John Maduka could not shy away from the fact that their recent slump in the DStv Premiership is due to their transfer ban.

The KZN side have been sanctioned by FIFA from registering new players since the start of the campaign and with two games to go against Chippa United and Moroka Swallows, Royal AM could still be dragged into the relegation play-offs.

Maduka admitted the players were exhausted and that the squad lacked depth.

"It's easy especially when you've got players that you can only rely on like I said last time, these are not players that used to play week in, week out. Like season players, there are a few of them that used to play week in, week out like Thabo Matlaba, they are used to that but you've got players that use to play six, seven, eight games in a season. Now they've been stretched to play more games, that's why it becomes difficult, especially towards the end," Maduka said.

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With Cape Town Spurs already relegated, coincidentally it is the two KZN rivals in Royal AM and Richards Bay still desperately hoping to avoid the chop.

Maduka revealed the conversation in the dressing room on this conundrum.

"There's nothing much that we can do. We are positive that we are not gonna go to playoffs and we were talking about it that if there's something else that we don't want to do is to play playoffs. It takes a lot, we saw Spurs. It's not like Spurs is a bad team but you know after playoffs straight they come and play in the PSL league games, not easy," the coach explained.

Royal AM have only managed eight league wins from 28 matches this season, but Maduka is confident they will have enough left in the tank to overcome Chippa and Swallows.

"And again, it's been a long season, the same players that are not used to play week in, week out and play for a long time, if you go to playoffs it's gonna be very difficult for us. So, our thinking, we are positive that we're not gonna go there. It's still in our hands, we've got two games to play, I think it's more of our size."