The KwaZulu-Natal club have won just one of their last seven matches, and sit rock-bottom of the Absa Premiership standings with three points from their nine matches played, their position compounded by their six docked points from FIFA following the unlawful termination of Namibian player Phinheas Nambandi's contract.
That sole victory came in last week’s 2-0 cup win over Cape Town City, resulting in qualification for the TKO quarter-finals, where they face-off against Soweto giants Pirates on Saturday.
Yet after another league defeat, to the very same opponents City over the weekend, Johnson is hoping the cup fixture will disrupt their poor league form in a positive manner.
“Maybe it comes as a bit of a distraction,” Johnson said of this weekend’s clash. “It’s at home against Pirates – they won the Derby and are on a major high, we lost and are on a major low. I hope all the Zulus come out and sing for us. So, yeah it’s going to be a nice game.”
Following Saturday’s lacklustre display against the Citizens, Johnson hopes his charges will be motivated by the high-profile clash, and expects them to up their game against The Buccaneers.
“Anytime you play Chiefs, Pirates or Sundowns, it always looks like someone puts an injection up any team’s backside, and they just seem to come out of the blocks a bit quicker and a bit faster,” he said. “Those motivations are there, and it looks like their heads are a bit clearer to understand the tactics, and when they do that, you say, ‘yes, this is the player I like’.”
AmaZulu played out a 1-1 draw with Pirates in their league clash earlier this month, but will hope to go one better in their cup fixture on Saturday evening.
Kick-off at Moses Mabhida Stadium is set for 18h00.