Barker only focused on avoiding relegation, not a top-eight finish
The coach of the PSL debutants is firmly focused on avoiding relegation at this stage of the season. Stellenbosch have 27 points from 23 league games and their survival is dependent on them at least reaching 30 points as per history.
Speaking after their 3-0 defeat at Maritzburg United on Friday, Barker would not entertain the talks of a top-eight finish.
“We still have work to do. We know it. I never get too far ahead of myself. You know that you get a couple of good wins, which elevate you on the league table and people start talking about top eight. That is foolish. The next target is to get to 30 points as soon as possible. Once we get to 30, it is easier to get to 33. We have seven games to do that. It was never a bad time to get a lesson. It is a wake-up call for us,” said Barker whose team are ninth on the league standings by a mere seven points above bottom-placed AmaZulu.
A top-eight finish is possible for Stellenbosch, but Barker doesn’t want to put too much emphasis on that possibility.
“I don’t want to concentrate on that. I’ve always maintained that we have to get to 33 points. That would guarantee that we stay in the league for another season. I want us to get there as soon as possible. Top eight is not on our minds right now,” he said.
Stellenbosch’s remaining matches will be against Mamelodi Sundowns, Golden Arrows, Cape Town City, Kaizer Chiefs, Chippa United, AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates.
Barker is banking on getting the points in their home games against Sundowns, Arrows, City, AmaZulu and Chippa.
“They are key. Our season will depend on those teams coming to us in Cape Town. We’ve had a good run in Cape Town. We’ve beaten teams like Baroka and Polokwane City in Cape Town,” Barker said.