Stellenbosch FC to use different approach in second meeting with Pirates
Stellenbosch FC will be back to full strength and will have a different approach to the game when they meet Orlando Pirates again this weekend‚ according to coach Steve Barker.
The premiership rookies rested key regulars and fielded a host of untested players in their first meeting a few days ago but still managed to hold out for more than 80 minutes before Pirates scored late to book a place in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals.
But this coming Saturday they will be at home in the league against the Sea Robbers and are desperate to pick up points with coach Steve Barker suggesting a much more expansive approach from his line-up.
“It would be foolish for me to think that we can play similar way and think we can defend for 90 minutes‚” he said of last Saturday’s game at the Orlando Stadium where they looked to catch Pirates on the counter-attack and had them looking uncomfortable at set-pieces.
Stellenbosch made seven changes for the cup tie with several debutants given an opportunity as they almost seemed to wave away any ambition in the cup to concentrate solely on their target of holding onto their top flight status.
But Barker did admit he had considered sticking with the same line-up that won away at Polokwane City 2-0 in their last league meeting in order to keep momentum going before ultimately deciding to go up against Pirates with a virtual second string.
“I had made certain decisions before the Telkom Knockout about switching positions.
“One of them was the goalkeeper - Lee Langeveldt was superb for us last season and deserved a chance. One of two other players in the team deserved a chance.
“It’s not easy. There has been some criticism in the world of football for coaches who don’t put out their team every week but I’ve got trust and faith in all my players.
"I put out a team that I thought was capable of winning the match‚” Barker insisted.
“I also needed to test one or two of the players as I do need to give them exposure.
"The league will be getting intense over the next couple of months where we will often be playing two games in a week and I need to know what the players are capable of doing so that when we get into the real battles later in the season‚ I know what I have in my armoury.”
To that end Barker said last Saturday proved a good exercise.
“I got some good answers. It was very positive. There were a lot of debutants‚ getting a first start in the PSL and they showed that they were capable.
”It was a good exercise‚ I learnt a lot from it‚” he added.