Aces stunned Soweto giants Orlando Pirates with a 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night, climbing to fifth place in the Premiership standings and drawing level with the Buccaneers on points.
“I always thought they had the potential,” said Barker, who was appointed to guide the newly promoted team this season.
“I would have been disappointed with myself if we didn’t get into the top eight because I really think we have the talent to be a top side in this league.
“When I assessed them, I said to the club’s directors I thought they had a side that could win the championship, and that’s what I really thought.”
Barker was pleased with his team’s performance against the Buccaneers, with Thulasizwe Mbuyane netting a deflected strike late in the match as Aces stretched their unbeaten run to six straight league games.
“I was delighted with the way things worked out for us… we really played well,” said the former Bafana Bafana mentor.
“We’ve passed the ball well this season and I think we’ve been an exciting team to watch.”
Man-of-the-Match Sandile Zuke said Aces had created a healthy team atmosphere, which he believed had carried them in the top-flight campaign.
“We’ve been on a good run and I think it all comes from being a family first because we are brothers and friends, so we are able to click with each other,” Zuke said.
“There’s no-one who is bigger than the team.”
Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic admitted he was frustrated by his team’s lack of creativity after they went down in a surprise home defeat.
The visitors dominated the entire match, pushing Bucs on the back foot from the first whistle.
“We have to try everything to score goals,” Vermezovic said.
“I changed to three strikers today but no-one was shooting on goal.
“That’s the biggest problem and we have to work on it, to try and find the right solution for our strikers.”