Barker wants strong finish from Tuks

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Fresh from two wins on the trot, Steve Barker says his Tuks side is aiming to pick up at least four more points from their last three games of the year. Photo by Lee Warren

Pretoria – Following their impressive 3-1 victory over Free State Stars in Pretoria on Wednesday evening, University of Pretoria coach Steve Barker says his team is aiming to pick up at least four more points from their last three games of the year.

“We’re on 14 points, we’d like to get to around about 18 before we go on the break, so still a bit of work to be done,” Barker said at Tuks Stadium after the clash.

Geofrey Massa scored a first-half brace to guide AmaTuks to their fourth home win of the season, which lifted them to ninth place in the league standings.

It was the first time this season that Barker’s troops claimed consecutive wins, after they beat visiting AmaZulu four days prior to Wednesday’s triumph.

“I always said that any back-to-back win is massive. I don’t think the whole of last season we were able to get two wins in a row,” Barker said.

“To get six points in the space of four days was massive. It shows that our home form has been the strongest it’s ever been.

“Six points on the trot is massive for this team and this club but we have to stay grounded.”

Barker was ejected from the game and sent to the stands eight minutes from time for continually questioning referee Victor Gomes, following an incident on the side of the pitch.

However, he conceded he was out of order to question the official.

“It’s sad under the circumstances,” he said. “It’s a pity but these things happen in football.

“I’m disappointed, I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did, but sometimes you just can’t control your emotions.”

Barker nevertheless criticised Gomes for awarding Stars too many free-kicks, one of which led to Tuks conceding, which left the stocky coach displeased.

“We work hard to keep clean-sheets. All of our victories at home have been clean-sheets and we wanted to do it again.

“But, eventually, when you get 25 set-pieces in and around the box, one will go in, so we were very disappointed to have conceded.”

Having slid down the table and seemingly heading for the relegation zone, Tuks have improved on their poor results, and Barker praised his team for their resilience during trying times.

“I’m very proud of the players after losing 3-0 to Polokwane City, there was a lot of doubt.

“But the players have stood up in the last two games, and credit must go to them for the effort and strength of character that they’ve shown.” – Sapa

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