Home Sport Soccer Stellenbosch wary as they eye wounded Leopards

Stellenbosch wary as they eye wounded Leopards

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The striker, who got the winner last time out at home to Polokwane City, stands on seven goals.

COMPLACENCY is a word Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has no time for.

It spells trouble for him, he’s warned his players of that, so it is no surprise to see them doing so well at the moment in the Premiership. The top-flight rookies are on a high after winning three matches in a row and climbing up to mid-table eighth on the log.

But now comes a tricky away fixture on Sunday against Black Leopards, who are tough to beat at home.

“The trip to them is a bit of a nightmare,” said Barker. “Then to face them in front of their partisan supporters who fill the Thohoyandou Stadium to the brim. Taking this into account, it will be a tough assignment but one we’ve prepared well for. We flew up to Polokwane today and had a practice to acclimatise, stayed over for the night and set off tomorrow (Friday) for the final part of the journey to Thohoyandou.

Desperate

“The boys know what’s at stake; it’s a six-point game, we know what we’re aiming for. But like I said, no easy task facing a side desperate for wins after losing four of their last five.”

The previous meeting between the teams ended 2-2, Waseem Isaacs scoring for Stellies. The striker, who got the winner last time out at home to Polokwane City, stands on seven goals.

Barker knows the importance of the next few games, saying the bottom eight sides aren’t far away points-wise – there is a seven-point difference – and that a dip in form is asking for trouble.

“We have to keep focus, treat each of our last 10 games like cup finals, continue to improve our standards and take no rival lightly,” he said. “I’m happy with parts of our game but we can improve on many others and will continue working at training.”

The club completed a fourth signing during the January transfer window in the form of Zambian international midfielder Nathan Sinkala on a 17-month contract. Stellies have lacked a bit of bite in the middle of the field and had to rely on their forwards for the bulk of their goals.

Sinkala, who has won the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, could just be the man to take on the role of playmaker and ignite a side that gives it their all and stands back for no one.

“Nathan is a big-name player and his presence will spur on the less-experienced members of the squad who are always willing to take in whatever they can to improve themselves,” said Barker.