Olde Riekerink: Stephens not to blame
City coach Jan Olde Riekerink immediately came to the defence of his goalkeeper despite his mistake ensuring the Citizens drew 1-1 at Maritzburg United on Friday.
In goals due to Peter Leeuwenburgh going off injured just before interval, Stephens was the culprit as City conceded a soft goal.
The young goalkeeper failed to hold onto the ball, which fell into the path of Jeremy Brockie who rattled the back of the net.
But Olde Riekerink was not blaming his goalkeeper for City failing to win.
“Sage is a very good goalkeeper. I trust him 100% as a replacement of Peter. Obviously he had to commit. He was unlucky but that was not the reason why we drew the game,” Olde Riekerink said.
City have struggled this season having built a reputation as PSL title challengers in the past three seasons. They are 10th on the log with 24 points after 21 games and are not safe from relegation.
“We were very insecure in our passing. We played comfortably, but we made a few mistakes at the beginning of the game. I feel that we didn’t do enough in our transition and our organisation was not good. At 1-0, we expected to win,” Olde Riekerink added.
City have now set their sights on a top-eight finish. They haven’t failed to finish in the top eight in their existence.
“We haven’t done enough to get away from (the) relegation zone. Our goal is to finish in the top eight. That’s what we are thinking about not relegation,” Olde Riekerink said.
City lost both Leeuwenburgh and Kermit Erasmus because of injuries.
“Erasmus sustained what looked like a hamstring. If, it is a hamstring, he will be out for long. “ Olde Riekerink concluded.