Bakgaga drew their first encounter against Stellenbosch, and next face off against National First Division runners-up Black Leopards on Wednesday, looking to gain the ascendency in the mini-tournament and maintain their top-flight status.
And to do so, Thobejane will look to two key players who did not feature much this season, but who both made surprise comebacks in the 2-2 draw with Stellenbosch. Motshegwa came off the bench for his first appearance since March, while Ndlovu, who played just his first league match of the season in the final-day win over Ajax Cape Town, started and scored in the play-off opener.
Thobejane explained that an injury kept Ndlovu out all season, yet expects both him and Motshegwa to feature prominently in the rest of the play-off fixtures.
“With Ndlovu, it was because of a thigh injury, and he only returned in the last game,” Thobejane explained. “It took him a long time to recover, that’s why he hasn’t showed up. But he was with us all this time.
“But you are going to see a lot of them this time around. They are back now. As you can see, Ndlovu is always giving us goals and assists, and he scored against Stellenbosch.”
Upon reflecting over Baroka’s maiden top-flight campaign, Thobejane insists it wasn’t tough, merely feeling that luck was against his side.
“No it was not tough, it’s just that things weren’t going for us – this season was not for us,” he said. “Football is not about performing, it’s about results. So it wasn’t about being tougher … football is about luck. As you saw against Stellenbosch – one chance in the first half, and they scored. Can you say we didn’t play? We were playing, and created enough clear-cut chances.”
Wednesday’s clash against Leopards is set to kick off at 15h00 at Peter Mokaba Stadium.