Barker: Aces will challenge Chiefs

Premiership

Aces finished seventh last season in their first campaign back from the First Division, yet Barker believes his side will be up there in the title-chasing bracket this time around.

“I said in the beginning that I think we will challenge Chiefs for the championship,” says Barker.

The veteran coach – whose team hosts Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates tonight at Mbombela Stadium – has been impressed with the recent progress that his team has made in picking up 11 out of a possible 15 points in their last five games following a sluggish start to the campaign.

“In the last five matches we have won three and drawn two so I think this is a lot of progress for us,” Barker says.

“I think after what had happened at the beginning [of the season] with all the loan players going back to the likes of (Mamelodi) Sundowns and (BidVest) Wits and everywhere else, the team is starting to settle now.

“They are a very experienced group and they know where to kick the ball and pass it so I am delighted with their progress.”

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Aces added seasoned campaigners to their squad during the off-season, bringing in the likes of Tinashe Nengomasha, Collins Mbesuma, S’boniso Gumede, Thanduyise Khuboni, Edwin Gyimah and Mzivukile Tom.

Aces are currently joint-seventh in the PSL standings with 12 points from their eight matches.

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