Royal AM coach John Maduka says his side will avoid being dragged into the relegation/promotion play-offs.

Thwihli Thwahla have been in freefall in 2024, dropping all the way down to 14th on the DStv Premiership standings with two games of their season to play.

They head into their clash with Chippa United on Saturday just two points clear of 15th-placed Richards Bay, who face Cape Town City this weekend.

A win over the Chilli Boys would give Royal AM confidence heading into their last game of the campaign away to another struggling side in Moroka Swallows.

Maduka’s charges most recently went down 2-0 to champions Mamelodi Sundowns but the head coach isn’t letting that result get him down.

Ahead of the weekend’s encounter, he said in the Sowetan: “We are positive that we are not going to go to the play-offs. 

“The players have been talking about it to say, ‘we don’t want to play in the play-offs’.  It [participating in the play-offs] takes a lot out of you.

“We saw with [Cape Town] Spurs when they played the play-offs [before the start of the season] and came to struggle in the Premiership [as they’ve since suffered automatic relegation]. The play-offs are not easy at all.”

Royal AM’s struggles came about due to their inability to strengthen their squad as a result of two FIFA bans.

“We have been using the same players over and over again because we don’t have depth,” Maduka added. They are already having a long season, so going to the play-offs is the last thing we’d want.

“Our thinking is positive. Our fate is still in our hands. We have two games to play. We can’t wait for other teams to do us favours. It’s all up to us.”