Steve Barker has urged his side to put Tuesday’s defeat to Moroka Swallows behind them and focus their attention on the upcoming MTN8 semi-final.
Stellenbosch FC suffered a 2-0 defeat to Swallows at a rainy Danie Craven Stadium on Tuesday in a match that also saw the hosts reduced to ten men following the dismissal of defender Ismaël Touré.
Following the match, head coach Steve Barker lamented his side’s misfortune but called the players to remain positive ahead of this weekend’s highly-anticipated MTN8 semi-final second-leg encounter against Orlando Pirates.
“We’re obviously disappointed,” He told SuperSport after the match. “To start the game the way we did, giving the early goal away and then to also get a red card, you obviously don’t give yourself much of a chance.
“It’s not the start that we wanted, but besides that, we just tried to get ourselves back in the game even when we were one man down but that obviously exposed us at the back, and with the second goal it was pretty much game over. There was enough bravery and courage shown when we were down to ten men to get ourselves back into it.
“There were also a couple of chances in the first half that we maybe should have been able to take, some close offside calls where you’re in behind that don’t go your way. Right now we’re just going through a spell where things are not falling for us but it’s important for us to stay together and united, go back to the drawing board, and look at one or two things.
“We’ve got a match again on Sunday so we need to get over this as quickly as possible, get our heads up because there’s a massive opportunity to get into the final of a major trophy.”
Asked about maintaining morale within the camp, Barker was adamant that there was nothing to be overly concerned about and that fortunes would change once his side rediscovered their goalscoring touch.
“We have to find solutions collectively,” he added. “There’s no faulting the way the players try, the way they play, and their commitment so we maybe just need a little bit better execution on the field and better decision-making.
“Once we can do that and we start getting goals again, I’m sure we can build momentum because we have the capability of going on long stretches of winning matches in a row. But, right now, we just have to regroup, forget about this one, and focus on the weekend’s match.”