Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen expects a more competitive showing in Baroka rematch
Posted: 9 November 2018 Time: 09:46
Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen says he made 10 changes to his team when they lost 2-0 to Baroka earlier in the season and expects a better showing from his men in a rematch on Saturday.
An injury-hit Arrows were knocked out of the Telkom Knockout last-16 by Bakgaga on October 20 at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The contest was supposed to take place the day before but Abafana Bes'thende were delayed by bad traffic, spending 15 hours on the road before arriving at their hotel on the morning of the game.
Since then Arrows have drawn their last two matches 1-1 away with Free State Stars and SuperSport United to stretch their unbeaten streak in the league to five games.
Bakagaga, meanwhile, have their tails up after knocking Tshwane giants Mamelodi Sundowns out of the TKO quarter-finals with a 2-0 scoreline last weekend.
However, they are in the Absa Premiership relegation zone with seven points from 11 games, having lost 1-0 at Bloemfontein Celtic after their tie with Arrows.
Abafana Bes'thende, in ninth place on the log, will revive hostilities with Baroka in the league at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, Durban tomorrow (15h30).
"They beat us after we made 10 changes to the team. We knew that we were going there not at our full strength," Larsen said.
"We played a team that had none of those players that played in the league before (that beat Black Leopards). Our expectations to beat them on the day weren't as high had we put out our strongest team. So, we knew what we were doing.
"Credit to them, they took advantage of us not being at full strength.
"We took a huge risk to rest a couple of players. All the players that beat Black Leopards the week before were rested. So we did that because we had all these injuries. We need to protect our players as well.
"It's a long season and we also like to see the players who are working hard at training getting an opportunity to play. We are starting to find some consistency in the league now and when that happens you don't make too many changes to your team. So that cup game gave us an opportunity to feel out some of the boys who have been working hard but haven't had enough game-time."
For this match Larsen is without Mzwandile Buthelezi, who has a broken toe. Danny Phiri suffered an injury with the Zimbabwean national team and is out for a month, with his compatriot Divine Lunga only returning in the next two weeks. Sandile Zuke is sidelined until January as he joined Zolani Nkombelo and Velemseni Ndwandwe on the list of long-term casualties.