Stellenbosch coach Barker wary of improved Pirates


Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker says he has noticed improvement from Orlando Pirates as his team prepares to host the Soweto giants in the DStv Premiership at the Danie Craven Stadium on Tuesday.

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Barker identified the Pirates centre backs Nkosinathi Sibisi and Tapelo Xoki as the additions to the Bucs squad that have brought stability at the back for the club – Pirates kept a clean sheet in their first game of the season, a 1-0 victory over Swallows FC on Saturday.

Stellies played to a goalless draw against Marumo Gallants away from home.
Barker, however, reckons the point in that game could prove to be vital for his side especially since they will be playing at home against Bucs.

“Obviously it is never easy playing away from home especially in the first game of the season and having to travel all the way to Polokwane,” said Barker.

“So, based on the performance I think we will take the point away from home. It obviously becomes important if we follow it with three points at home on Wednesday against Pirates, who showed already that there are definite signs of improvement from the way they play. And they are solid at the back with their centre back pairings,” said the Stellenbosch coach.

“They come off a win so they will be looking to take that momentum to Wednesday. But at the same time we have to impose ourselves, it is our home game. We have to make sure that we put in a performance that puts us in a position to take all three points.”

Barker added that he is content with what he saw from his players and says the team will get better going forward.

“I’m pleased with all the players that we have acquired, they all had solid performance over the weekend and we will only get better once the team starts gelling and combinations start getting better week by week. So, I’m pleased with the performance on the weekend and I’m looking forward to more to come from each of them,” he continued.

“We are looking for consistency in the league coming off a good season last year.We have some challenging fixtures in the next four to five games against some really good opposition. But at the same time it is an opportunity for us to make an early mark against those teams.