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Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen retains top-eight hopes

Posted: 5 February 2018 Time: 20:15

Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen believes his team can still secure a top-eight finish despite only winning one of their last 15 league games.

Arrows topped the Premiership standings for two weeks earlier in the season but now find themselves two points above the drop zone in 12th place with 10 matches left

However, Abafana Bes'thende, who lost 2-1 to Durban rivals AmaZulu on Saturday, are only three points behind eighth-placed Usuthu.

"Like I said before, with 10 games left there is still everything to play for," said Larsen, whose side have earned 23 points from 20 matches.

"We'll try to make sure that in the 30 games we get enough points to achieve our top-eight target.

"We said for us we need 17 points and the 40-points mark is always our target. We got 38 points last season and we finished eighth. So in this crazy season that should suffice. That's going to be our target, which means 17 points from 30 games. Yes, it's not an easy task, but it is an achievable one."

Larsen feels the weekend's duel could have gone either way against Cavin Johnson's side, who gained revenge for a 4-1 defeat in the reverse tie in KwaMashu in September.

Knox Mutizwa opened the scoring for the visitors, but Siyethemba Mnguni hit back with a quick-fire brace at King Zwelithini Stadium.

Both teams had men sent off as Danny Venter and Michael Morton received their marching orders from referee Chris Harrison in the second half.

"Firstly, I think we started the game positively and both teams showed that they wanted to win this game. We knew it'll be a closely contested affair and we also knew that it's going to be an emotional game based on the previous result," Larsen said.

"So we were expecting it. But one thing I was happy about was my players rolled up their sleeves and they competed. We got the goal and I think we needed to get the second. We also had a big opportunity with [Velemseni] Ndwandwe's header to get that opportunity to go 2-0 up but it wasn't to be.

"They came back and they went into the lead and once again we had another opportunity to draw level when [Limbikani] Mzava missed his one at the end. These things happen.

"It was the type of the game that could have gone either way. I think both teams wanted to win it badly because both teams have top-eight aspirations, and three points in this game goes a long way to helping you to achieve that target."

Arrows next visit Kaizer Chiefs in the last-32 of the Nedbank Cup at FNB Stadium this Sunday (15h30).

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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