JOHANNESBURG – Platinum Stars coach Roger de Sa is confident that Dikwena can still retain their status in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) despite starting the playoffs with a loss and a goalless draw.
The Phokeng-based side have a mountain to climb after losing 1-0 to Black Leopards in Thohoyandou and then playing to a goalless draw with Jomo Cosmos at Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday.
Dikwena have failed to make the most of their second chance as they languish at the bottom of the three-team mini league with a place in the PSL up for grabs.
Dikwena had just over 24 hours to prepare for the play-offs, replacing Ajax Cape Town who had finished 15th in the Absa Premiership.
But the Urban Warriors lost the case on the eligibility of Tendai Ndoro who was playing for his third team in a season which is against Fifa rules.
The points Ajax lost from the three matches in which they fielded Ndoro saw them relegated automatically with Dikwena living to fight another day.
“We got caught a little bit (off guard) with that one but nevertheless we can’t make excuses,” De Sa said.
“We went to Thohoyandou and we lost 1-0. I know that we scored but the goal was disallowed. But that’s the way it goes. Now we have a chance to turn the results when we play at home.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to get back into it. If we get the three points, it will make it pretty even between us and Leopards, and it will go right down to the last game. Hopefully we can put up a good performance and overturn that result.”
Leopards sit in the driver’s seat at the halfway mark. Lidoda Duvha have four points while Cosmos sit on two points and Dikwena have accumulated only one point.
Dikwena will look to add to that tally tonight against Leopards at Moruleng Stadium in a match that kicks off at 8.15pm. Failure to get a win will push them closer to the national first division.
While the players are fighting for their careers at Stars, De Sa is driven by the desire to protect his investment as he is one part of the four-man consortium that bought Dikwena for R22.5 million earlier this year.
But even with a change in ownership and being given a lifeline to fight for their status in the play-offs, Stars’ fortunes haven’t changed.
They have been a miserable team that looks destined to get the axe. De Sa hasn’t given up though, targeting wins over Leopards tonight and Cosmos on Saturday next week.
“You always know that you need seven points in the playoffs,” De Sa said.
“Seven points is usually the amount that takes you through. We’ve got a point with two games to go so we have to win both games.
“That’s what it comes down to. It’s a simple equation right now, win and win. That’s all we need to do.
“We have to do it. There’s no other option or any calculations needed.
“Hopefully we will get a good result and a good performance against Leopards which will take us to Vosloorus to the last game against Cosmos. All we can do is have a really good go.”