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Stellenbosch FC are confident of beating the drop

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Sibusiso Mthethwa believes Stellenbosch FC will retain their Premiership status.

Stellenbosch FC are confident of remaining in the Premiership. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane African news agency(ANA)

SIBUSISO Mthethwa believes Stellenbosch FC will retain their Premiership status. The 28-year-old defender signed for the Winelands-based team last season when they were campaigning in the National First Division (NFD).

“Our mission was to win the NFD title, we achieved that and won promotion to the Premier League,” said Mthethwa. “Fast-forward to the present and we’re in a good space in terms of our log position (ninth). We will beat the drop, I’m positive about that.

“The boys have forged a close bond, we have a great coach in Steve Barker and the goal we set ourselves will be realised. A lot of people wrote us off as no-hopers, the team to finish in last place and be relegated,” he pointed out.

“But we never took any notice our focus was on the job at hand and from day one we’ve shown ourselves to be a side to be reckoned with. We can beat anyone home or way. Last time out we entertained SuperSport United at the Cape Town Stadium and saw them off 1-0 for our fourth league win from five outings, showing that we are on the up and set for a possible top-eight finish.

“Now for the clash away to sixth-placed Maritzburg United on Friday night,” he continued. “We’ve played them twice already this season; we drew in the league game and recently lost out to them on penalties in the Nedbank Cup. So little separates the two sides.

“But they do have an amazing 17-0 Friday night home record, one we want to bring to an end.

“If we win we increase our points tally to 30, three shy of our pre-season target. And we still have another seven matches to play, so things are looking good in terms of cementing our place in the division.”

The former Platinum Stars player is happy with his form because the team is getting results, although in the first round he felt too many goals were being conceded.

Stellies have let in 26 goals in 22 matches but of late have posted a few clean sheets.

Mthethwa and former Wits and Cape Town City captain Robyn Johannes hold the fort in the heart of the defence and have made life easier for goalkeeper Lee-Raoul Langeveldt, who has risen to the occasion since replacing Boy de Jong as the first-choice shot-stopper.