Johannesburg — Struggling Golden Arrows coach Mark Harrison admitted he was not expecting to get anything from Wednesday's game against Mamelodi Sundowns and was not surprised at the loss.
“We have to remain positive because in our minds, it was always going to be difficult to come here and take something,” Harrison said after his side went down 2-0 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
“It’s not one of those games when you look at your list of games and you say, ‘okay we’re going to get three points there or one point there’.
“You’re putting it down as a no-pointer and hope that you get something from it.
If you get something from it, it’s a bonus.”
It was Arrows' sixth successive league disappointment.
Second-half replacement Anthony Laffor scored his first goal of the season to help Sundowns to a comfortable win against a 10-man Arrows, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Laffor's second-half goal came after Khama Billiat had put the Brazilians ahead with his superb 10th minute header.
“I think the first 25 minutes probably cost us the game in the end. We stood too deep and we allowed them too much time and space,” Harrison said.
“They got the goal inside the first 15 minutes, which put us on the back foot and to be a goal down against Sundowns, inside the first 15 to 20 minutes, is not a good thing.
“I think our rustiness at the beginning also showed Ä the fact that we haven’t played for seven weeks.”
It was a first game out this year for the Durban outfit, who last played late in December, before the Premiership took a back seat due to the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in January.
Things went from bad to worse for Harrison as Manti Moholo Ä in his first appearance for Arrows since joining on loan from Orlando Pirates Ä was shown a second yellow card, reducing the visitors to 10 men with half-an-hour still to play.
“I don’t think the actual sending off was the right thing, but he’d already been booked early one, then he got warned again for a second one,” Harrison said.
“I think the referee had made his mind up that he (Moholo) was going to go… I’m not sure the actual incident warranted a sending off.”
With points few and far between for the basement club, Harrison pointed to Arrows’ next three opponents, and said he remained hopeful of positive results in the race to climb up and out of the relegation zone.
“The next three game for us are massive. We’ve got Polokwane City, Free State Stars and Tuks.
“They’re all six-pointers for us. If we do happen to win all three games, it’s not only putting nine points on the board for us, it’s also taking points off teams around us and in our vicinity.
“They’re huge for us now, so we have to get up, brush ourselves down and have a right go on Saturday.” – Sapa