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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Royal AM’s Maduka confident of avoiding playoffs

“We still have two games to play and they are difficult games of course," Maduka said.

With Richards Bay breathing down their neck, Royal AM head coach John Maduka insists that they won’t be sucked into the DStv Premiership relegation-promotion playoffs with two games remaining. 

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Only two points separate the two KwaZulu-Natal sides. Both Royal AM (29 points) and the Natal Rich Boyz (27 points), who recorded a 1-0 upset against Orlando Pirates last Saturday, will be hoping to capitalise on any slip ups in a bid to avoid the mini-league playoff system at the end of the season.

Cape Town Spurs were automatically relegated back to the Motsepe Foundation Championship following Richards Bay’s surprise win over the Buccaneers at Orlando Stadium. Maduka is adamant his charges will put up a fight in the last two rounds of league matches.

“There’s nothing much that we can do, we’re positive that we won’t go into the playoffs. It’s something that players were talking about that if there’s something that they don’t want to do is to play in the playoffs,” Maduka said following the 2-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday evening.

“They (the playoffs) take a lot and we saw with Spurs, it’s not like they are a bad team but straight after the playoffs,  they came to play in the PSL so it’s not easy because again it has been a long season with players who are used to playing week in and week out. If we go into the playoffs it will be difficult for us so in our thinking, we’re positive that we won’t go there because it’s still in our hands.

“We still have two games to play and they are difficult games of course. We have a home game against Chippa United and it’s a game that we must win. We can’t wait for others to do it for us and we must do it ourselves. One good thing that I keep saying is that it’s in our hands because we have two points over Richards Bay so it’s all up to us.”

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Royal AM next face Chippa United before an away assignment to Moroka Swallows. Meanwhile, Richards Bay will make the trip to Western Cape for a clash against Cape Town City in their next match before wrapping up the campaign at home to Stellenbosch FC.

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DStv Premiership Richards Bay Royal AM F.C.