Eymael says small teams’ success shows PSL is improving
Luc Eymael has said that the success of teams like Free State Stars‚ Baroka FC and Chippa United shows that the Absa Premiership is an improving league.
Eymael’s Stars went to second place in the PSL with their 1-0 away win against Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.
The coach said‚ while his target remains the top eight‚ Stars’ three victories in a row against big teams – beating SuperSport United 1-0 and Orlando Pirates 2-1‚ both at Goble Park‚ in their previous games – indicates the league is healthy and improving.
This bucks the trend of intense recent criticism of the league for its lack of goals and the closeness of the gap between teams from the bottom‚ through mid-table‚ to the top.
Asked about going from fifth to second by beating Wits‚ and Stars’ growing confidence‚ the charismatic Eymael said: “Ah‚ you know‚ there are games that have to be played tomorrow (on Saturday). but OK.
“For me‚ I’m not looking at that. I’m trying to reach my target.
“I said when I arrived that I’m not going to going to put pressure on myself. I didn’t have any mandate and I said I would try to take this team to the top eight‚ and that’s still what I will try to do.
“And I think‚ now‚ that we are showing something. We have won three games in a row against big teams – SuperSport‚ Pirates and Wits. I think it’s a sign of the improvement of my players.
“Perhaps it disturbs some people – I don’t know. But for me it’s a good sign.
“Because it’s not only us – it’s Baroka‚ it’s Golden Arrows‚ it’s Chippa United.
“And I think it’s a sign for me that the league is improving. Because the league becomes more open.
“And it shows that when you work well and when you make good transfers with intelligence‚ you can compete with the big teams. And I hope that this thing will stay like that.
“I know that people are supporting big teams. I know that there is a lot of pressure‚ a lot of business.
“But I think it’s a sign that the league is improving. And I think that South Africa has to continue like that‚ if we want to be the best team in Africa.”
Stars next meet another small-to-medium-sized team enjoying top-half success‚ Cape Town City‚ at Goble Park next Saturday.