FS Stars top three would be miracle worthy of a statue‚ says Luc Eymael
If Free State Stars are to finish in the Absa Premiership’s top four this season‚ it can be considered a small miracle‚ suggested their coach Luc Eymael even after they took a point off leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.
The 1-1 result kept Stars in the top-four hunt and served notice of their potential as they shrugged off a poor first half to come back after conceding an early goal and take an away point.
They might have had all three had they been awarded a penalty in stoppage time when Sundowns goalkeeper Dennis Onyango appeared to take out Stars midfielder Nhlanhla Vilakazi as the visitors broke on the counter in the last attack of the game.
Stars now have 33 points from 21 games‚ sitting level with Orlando Pirates‚ who have a better goal difference‚ and just one behind second-placed Kaizer Chiefs.
“I am maintaining what I said when I arrived at Stars and that was that my first priority was to ensure mathematically‚ as soon as possible‚ saving Free State Stars from relegation. That is already done‚” Eymael said.
“My next target is to bring Free State Stars into the top eight. It is not yet done‚ mathematically. I think we still need seven or eight points to make sure of that. I think 40 or 41 points will be enough to ensure a top eight place.
“After that‚ we will try to win whatever points we can get to improve our ranking on the table and we will see. It will be very arrogant to say that we are chasing for the title‚ from where Free State Stars is coming.
“All I think is that if we finish in the top eight‚ it will be a very good performance when you see what happened to Stars in previous years.
“And if we are in top four‚ that will be fantastic. A small miracle. And if we are higher than top four – it’s a big miracle. We’d have to build a statue to the team!” the Belgian-born coach added.
Stars have still got nine games to play‚ next hosting AmaZulu in Bethlehem on Saturday.
The club’s best-ever finish was third in 1991‚ when Augusto Palacios coached them‚ and they were fourth in 2009 with Steve Komphela at the helm.
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