Coach blames slump on loss of key players

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

University of Pretoria manager Graham Oosthuis attributes his side's poor showing in the National First Division Inland Stream this season to the loss of some of their key players.

But despite the situation at the Pretoria-based side, Oosthuis remains adamant AmaTuks will compete for a berth in the relegation-promotion playoffs in May next year.

Oosthuis was also quick to dispel insinuations that coach Sammy Troughton was under pressure to start winning his matches.

He was speaking to Sowetan yesterday after their surprise 1-2 loss to Witbank Spurs in Tshwane at the weekend.

AmaTuks lost by the same margin to Winnerspark in their rescheduled league match against that team in Polokwane last Monday.

"We missed some of our key players, who have joined [Absa] Premiership clubs, so we are not consistent in our play this season," Oosthuis said.

The Pretoria side have lost midfielder Sam Ndlovu and Bafana Bafana defender Bongani Khumalo to SuperSport United.

And Sifiso Sithole has been snapped up by Free State Stars.

AmaTuks, who reached the final of the playoffs last season, have only managed eight points from a possible 24 this term.

"We are taking each game as it comes and we are all encouraged after beating a strong team like AmaTuks.

"We are not going to be relegated this season," Themba Mafu, Spurs co-director told Sowetan yesterday.

University scored first through George Maluleka and Spurs' strikes came through the boots of Victor Ngunyule and Sipho Tshabalala in the second stanza.

l Namibian forward Costa Khaiseb scored for FC AK and Molefi Loape struck for African Warriors as the two sides fought out a 1-1 draw in Eldorado Park on Saturday.

l FC Cape Town walloped homeboys Hanover Park 3-1 in the Coastal Stream match in the Mother City.

l Log leaders Maritzburg United also registered the same score against Western Province United in Wynberg and Bay United and Nathi Lions drew 0-0 in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

l The match between Durban Stars and Ikapa Sporting could not be played because of a water-logged pitch in Umlazi.