2 minute read
5 Nov 2013
12:50 pm

Barker looks to Wits clash as Tuks continue to build

University of Pretoria boss Steve Barker believes his team will look to capitalise on a solid start to the season and build toward securing their safety in the Premiership for a second time.

AmaZulu's new coach Steve Barker. Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images.

Tuks take on neighbouring University outfit Wits in a Premiership clash in Johannesburg on Wednesday and, despite a respectable eight points from their first seven games, Barker said he was disappointed not to have bagged a few more.

“We probably don’t have as many points as we deserve. We’ve conceded the least amount of goals in the league together with Wits,” Barker said ahead of the game.

“When you’ve only conceded three goals in seven games, you would be hoping for a better return. We would have hoped to have been round about the double figure mark after seven games, but we’re not.”

The Clever Boys had the better of AmaTuks last season, after they claimed a win and a draw during the league campaign. The teams would meet for the first time this season and Barker was pleased to reveal his side was at full-strength for the game.

“It’s probably the first time this season that we have the full squad available,” he said. “No injuries, no suspensions. It’s a good position to be in, especially with two games in three days.”

Tuks were yet to win away from home this season, having suffered two defeats and a draw on the road.

Wits, meanwhile, four points ahead of their next opponents and sitting fifth in the standings, have won two of their four ties at home and were held to a goalless draw by new-comers Polokwane City in their last encounter at the Bidvest Stadium.

“There’s a certain pattern that Gavin Hunt likes his team to play,” Barker said of his opposite number. “He likes to compress the game, make the playing area small and put you under pressure.

“He likes to get the ball in the box and into the danger area. It’s always a well-coached team. They are well-organised and the patterns they play are drilled into his players.”

Premiership fixtures: Wednesday: Wits v University of Pretoria (Bidvest Stadium), Mamelodi Sundowns v Free State Stars (Loftus Stadium), Golden Arrows v Moroka Swallows (King Zwelithini Stadium), Polokwane City v AmaZulu (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium).