Barker pleased with point for AmaTuks
STEVE Barker is happy with the point Absa Premiership rookies University of Pretoria got from their opening match of the season at the weekend, a 1-all draw against Maritzburg United.
Barker watched his side take the lead on Sunday through veteran striker David Radebe. However, AmaTuks could not hold on for a win, with United equalising via Mario Booysen in injury time, forcing the coach to admit that his team still had a lot of work to do.
But Barker said: "If you told me we were going to get a point in our first game, I would have taken it."
The stalemate was a better result than that achieved by fellow newcomers Chippa United, who were beaten 1-0 by Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday night.
"It's always difficult because you don't know how well prepared you are. We made a big step up and I was pleased with our efforts. There are areas we need to work on and we are still going to strengthen the squad," Barker said.
AmaTuks had new recruits Lionel Mutizwa, on loan from Sundowns, goalkeeper Arubi Washington and defender Moussono-Moussono unavailable because they could not get work permits in time.
Striker Mame Niang is also expected to sign with AmaTuks this week following his departure from neighbours SuperSport United. Although Barker was content with a point, he has some ideas on where his team could improve.
"We need more fluidity in our play. We gave the ball away too often and we lost our shape a little bit in the dying minutes of the game," he said.
Barker also hopes for more support from fans, who came in decent numbers to the small university grounds on Sunday: "I was surprised that on a long weekend, as well as Oppikoppi, we had such a decent crowd.
"I am sure we will fill the stadium sooner rather than later."