Larsen warns the job is far from finished as Polokwane finally move out of the relegation zone
Two victories in a row have seen Polokwane City move themselves off the bottom of the premiership standings and now out of the relegation zone‚ but coach Clinton Larsen is warning the job is far from finished.
City are now up to 13th place‚ three points above the bottom three‚ after Sibusiso Hlubi smashed home a dramatic late winner in the Limpopo derby against Black Leopards at the weekend.
A fortnight earlier‚ also at home‚ Polokwane went ahead twice before securing a 3-2 win over Cape Town City.
“We needed those wins and it’s done a lot for the mood in the camp. For the supporters also‚ who’ve finally got something to smile about.
“It’s given everybody at the club a lift but we know we are far from safe.
“But we have really given ourselves an opportunity to move in the right direction now.
“If you look at the fixtures for all the bottom teams‚ they are all tough moving forward. The points against Black Leopards really a huge three points for us.”
The double home success must be juxtapositioned against the fact that Polokwane have lost nine successive away games – a statistic that hardly inspires confidence going into Friday’s match at Maritzburg United.
“We have struggled really to score goals and then in the last two games we’ve scored five. That’s getting better. It’s an area we are working on.
“Defensively we are hoping now to have a bit of consistency for the first time since I’ve arrived.”
Larsen said the return from injury of Ayanda Nkili‚ who previously played in Sweden‚ is a major boon for the team’s fortunes‚ as is the form shown by new Malawian international signing Denis Chimbezi.
“We are hoping they will consolidate the defence and that there are no further injuries to anybody.
"That’s what we have lacked. Consistency. Thabiso Semenya’s experience has really helped us while (Mpho) Mvelase has been out with bruised foot.
“Our Achilles’ heel has been chopping and changing at the back due to injury.
"Now finally we are getting everybody back.
"(Nicholas) Motloung and (Sibusiso) Mbonani have been back and integrated into full training and hopefully in two to three weeks’ time they are also both back for the final run-in to the end of the season.”