No more travelling blues for TuksComment on this story
After enduring the worst record in the Absa Premiership of zero away wins in the first seven months of the season, University of Pretoria have put their fear of travelling behind them.
It took coach Steve Barker’s men 20 matches to finally register three points on the road, when they defeated Golden Arrows 4-2 a fortnight ago.
The team’s painstaking travels across the country had until then yielded only one point, having lost 10 matches away from their home turf – Tuks Stadium.
Having broken that duck, AmaTuks will return to the road on Sunday for the first time since that surprise victory.
The university club will challenge Ajax Cape Town at a happy hunting ground where they last season registered their biggest win in club history when they trampled the Urban Warriors 4-1.
This fact, together with their recent spate of positive results, have resulted in a confident bunch of players who will fly to Cape Town tomorrow morning high on team spirit.
AmaTuks are no strangers t when it comes to inconsistent play – something that has plagued them.
Last season in their rookie year, the club had a problem of failing to win games at home.
Their eventual top eight finish in the league was largely thanks to their good travels away from the Hatfield campus.
They eventually broke the duck near the half-way point of the season.
This season the problem took on a reverse effect with the club struggling to win a game away from home.
AmaTuks have 26 points from 21 games, six points away from the top five spot. But once again the technical team led by Barker have stuck to their guns and cleared the mental hurdle.
Barker said it would be a different AmaTuks team playing against Ajax Cape Town on Sunday.
“Our away form has obviously been poor. But we believe we have turned the corner and are looking to making a good run towards the end of the season,” he said.
“We find ourselves in the same position as we were last season. If we can get to 32 points with five or six matches remaining I think we can be in and among the top five by the end of the season.”
The tactician has lauded the influence of new players Raymond Monama (winger) and Thabo Mnyamane (striker) who came in during the January transfer window.
“Monama and Mnyamane have given us an extra dimension since coming in January. They have given us that spark of creativity upfront. To a large extent they can be credited with helping the team turn its fortunes around. Our only focus being the league now means that we can play with more direction.”
Mnyamane has scored four goals in six starts so far and Monama has given the team impetus in the creative department in midfield. - Pretoria News