Wedson Nyirenda: We are not going to be relegated and I am not even afraid of that. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – After showing no signs of celebrant hangovers from their Telkom Knockout victory against Orlando Pirates on Saturday, Baroka FC coach Wedson Nyirenda is adamant that there is no room to entertain thoughts of “relegation’’.

On Tuesday, Baroka snatched a point in their PSL clash against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns - in attempts to revive their league season.
Although, Bakgaga bagged their maiden Cup competition courtesy of a 3-2 win on penalties against Pirates, they’ve had trying times in the league.

They are in the bottom half of the league standings - with two wins, five draws and six defeats. Nyirenda’s troops didn’t drop their guard after their celebrations over the weekend, as they fought gallantly to settle for a 0-0 draw against Sundowns.

“I don’t think that’s even there, we are not going to be relegated and I am not even afraid of that,” Nyirenda said.

“If you see the game against Sundowns, it is evident that our players are matured. After winning that Cup final, two days later, a team of an average age of 24-year-old comes up and put a fight against a formidable and well-accomplished team like Sundowns. We know that we getting something.”

In the last two seasons, Bakgaga have found themselves in the relegation quagmire. In the 2016-17 campaign, their top-flight status was restored via the promotion-relegation playoffs. Furthermore, at the end of the previous season they could only finish 14th in league.

Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns is fouled by Ananias Gebhardt of Baroka at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Phakamani Mahlambi of Mamelodi Sundowns is fouled by Ananias Gebhardt of Baroka at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Although Nyirenda was a prolific striker in his playing days, he is aware that his team’s hopes of remaining in the PSL lies upon the shoulders of goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze. Chipezeze has already proven his worth for the Limpopo-based team, after inspiring them to impressive results in their last two fixtures against Pirates and Sundowns.

“Every other good team must have a good goalkeeper first,” Nyirenda said. “We’ve worked so hard to bring him to where he is and I thank God for the goalkeeper coach Thomas Nare, he is doing a great job with the goalkeepers. If you have a good goalkeeper then you are sure of safety at the back. When you start closing your eyes on anything that goes to the goal then you should know that you have a problem.”

Nyirenda and his troops will be hoping to complete a league and Cup double over Wits after dumping them out of the Telkom Knockout en route to their success, and climb up the league standings as they’ll host the Clever Boys at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

“We’ve played big teams and we’ve done well,” he said. “I think they (Wits) are coming in for revenge but it’s not for me to say on what to expect from them, I don’t want to expose what we are preparing for them.”

@Mihlalibaleka


The Star

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