AmaZulu FC coach Jozef Vukusic has confirmed that five of his senior players have been demoted from the first team to the reserves for what he described as substandard performances.

Former captain Nhlanhla Vilakazi, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Michael Morton, Thembela Sikhakhane and Jabulani Ncobeni have not trained with the squad this week, following their return from Bloemfontein where the quartet featured in their embarrassing 4-1 Nedbank Cup last 32 loss to Celtic over the weekend.

Vukusic explains the decision taken by Usuthu management.

AmaZulu, who are second bottom on the Absa Premiership table and in a desperate battle to avoid relegation, lead Celtic 1-0 on Saturday, before a complete meltdown with all five players questioned for a lack of commitment.

Vukusic did insist that their absence, for now, was just for this weekend’s derby against Lamontville Golden Arrows at King’s Park Rugby Stadium.

Usuthu must beat Arrows on Saturday night if they want to boost their prospects of surviving. They are currently on 20 points from 21 games, three ahead of bottom-side Polokwane City and level with two other teams – Baroka FC and Black Leopards.

Whatever the club decides going forward, there is no doubt the experience of the five players can help them.

Vukusic, though, says that a decision regarding the remaining games will only be made after the clash with Abafana Bes’thende. – Report by Thahir Asmal