University of Pretoria coach Shaun Bartlett targets automatic promotion
Posted: 12 November 2017
University of Pretoria coach Shaun Bartlett says they'll do everything in their power to win automatic promotion this season rather than go through the stress of competing in the playoffs.
"No, We are going for straight (promotion)," a confident Bartlett tells KickOff.com.
"I think it's unfair in some way that you play the whole season and you've still got to go into a promotion playoff with a PSL team. So our goal is to win automatic promotion."
Bartlett, who has previously won promotion to the PSL with Golden Arrows, says the top two teams should be promoted to the topflight, instead of giving an unfair advantage to a PSL side that finishes in 15th place.
"I think it should be two [clubs] from the NFD to get promoted. I mean we play the whole the season to get to where we are and you still give a PSL team an opportunity to stay there, while they had an opportunity the whole season to avoid relegation. That's my opinion."
Tuks are in their second season in the NFD since getting relegated from the topflight. Bartlett says too many changes in his squad contributed to them failing to make quick return to the Absa Premiership.
"Obviously we changed the whole squad when the team got relegated, and so we needed to get a lot of new players in, and that takes a lot of time," he says.
"Obviously the goal is always to be back within one season and when it didn't happen we had to look again for some good players, and we brought in some experienced players to help some of the younger players."
AmaTuks are currently in second place, with 18 points from 10 games. They are a point behind Highlands Park.
"I think there is around six or seven teams that you can't write off. [Black] Leopards, [Jomo] Cosmos, Stellenbosch FC [and] Mbombela United are teams that will always pose a threat.
"You lose one game and you find yourself in trouble. I think we just gonna make sure that we win the games that are ahead of us and beat the opponents that are in front of us. But we are running our own race, we are not looking around."
Bartlett does not think his previous experience of winning promotion with Arrows will give him an advantage.
"I don't count on past experiences. It's a new season, there's new players, it's a new club."
Tuks will have an opportunity to sit on top of the log, when they take on struggling Ubuntu Cape Town at Absa Tuks stadium on Saturday.
Article by: Sipho Mlotha