Pirates' league spot under threat

Premiership

Orlando Pirates’ current position in the Absa Premiership could be lost to Stellenbosch as coach Steve Barker fires a warning ahead of this weekend’s fixture.

Pirates are set to visit Stellenbosch for a league encounter just a week after their Telkom Knockout fixture played at Orlando Stadium, where the hosts came out victorious.

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While their cup pedigree remains intact, The Buccaneers have fallen to a precarious eighth position on the log standings after managing just two wins from their seven games thus far.

Meanwhile, Stellies, who were promoted at the start of the season, are now eyeing revenge from their cup defeat with coach Steve Barker warning that they could displace the Soweto giants come Saturday evening.

“I think you used the word ‘unstable’ in your question, it’s amazing in this football world where the media [see things in a negative way],” defended Barker, when quizzed about their turbulent start to life in the topflight which has seen them win just one of their eight games thus far.

“Fortunately, as a coach, I look at things positively. We’re one point off eighth [sic] position – if we beat Orlando Pirates [on Saturday], we go above them.

“So, there’s no instability. There’s progress; there’s a plan that this club has and it’s a plan that we’ll execute well – just to get that out the way, it’s not an unstable environment currently, in fact it’s very stable.”

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On missing out on the opportunity for silverware, the former AmaZulu and AmaTuks mentor assured they will eventually get to the stage of winning trophies, but for now they are realistic in terms of their targets.

“Yes, you want to win trophies. Every single cup you participate in, you want to win. I’m a coach, I want to win trophies for the club and the players want to win.

“That success is often measured at the end of your career – the number of trophies you’ve won – so we’re desperate to get a trophy as soon as possible.

“But we are also mindful and realistic, and need the club to be stable, so certain decisions are made at the right time.”

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