Stellenbosch coach Barker: Best time to bounce back is against Kaizer Chiefs
Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker says, even if Kaizer Chiefs have hit a mini-run of form‚ the best occasion for his team to bounce back from a string of matches without a win is against Amakhosi in Saturday’s DStv Premiership matchup.
After a dismal start‚ Chiefs’ confidence will have been boosted significantly by a run of three wins against AmaZulu‚ Cape Town City and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila that saw Gavin Hunt’s team rocket from 14th place to seventh in the space of less than two weeks.
Amakhosi would love to continue their run — where the performances were less than perfect‚ but the results surely much more gratifying as Hunt has battled to find winning combinations.
Chiefs will be up against a Stellenbosch at Danie Craven Stadium who‚ under Barker‚ have been renowned for their resilience and are aiming to bounce back from a 3-2 home defeat to Baroka FC on Wednesday.
That result followed draws against Black Leopards and Bloemfontein Celtic‚ as Stellies have gone three matches without a win.
“Ja‚ it is disappointing. I think everybody at the club is hurting. We felt that all things being equal at home against Baroka we were looking for a positive result‚” Barker said.
“ ... So‚ bitterly disappointed‚ and we need to bounce back on Saturday‚ and no better occasion than playing against Chiefs.
“They are a team in good form but it’s a great opportunity for us to just to re-show our intent and our competitiveness in this league.
“We need to be positive in our approach ... and be ready to show the resilience that we have shown in the past — that we have that capability after disappointing results to bounce back.”
Barker said Stellenbosch need to be wary that Chiefs contain emerging starlets such as Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Happy Mashiane who have each scored two goals in two games‚ and established match-winners such as Lebogang Manyama and Samir Nurković.
“They’re coming off three wins‚ so I’m sure they’re in a better space than they were a week back‚” the ex-Pretoria University and AmaZulu coach said.
“But‚ you know‚ it’s a difficult league to get four wins in a row and conversely we’re not a team who go four games without a win.
“So we’ve got to believe that we have a big chance in the game. We have the capability of beating a team like Chiefs.
“But what we do have to know is they do have their strengths‚ they do have players who can win football games for them‚ which they’ve shown in the last three.
“So it’s important that we’re aware of that and negate that. But conversely we have to show our qualities with the ball and ask them questions‚ put them on the back foot and create chances as well.”