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Highlands ‘have been found out’, says Da Gama

Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama. FILE PHOTO
Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama. FILE PHOTO
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Highlands Park are hoping to snap a seven-game winless streak when they host Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Absa Premiership at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday, but coach Owen da Gama says they are struggling to deal with “second-season syndrome”.

“Essentially we have been found out,” he says after a dream first season back in the top-flight where they finished in the top eight.

“The second season in the PSL is much tougher because everyone is expecting so much from you but at the same time the teams know you much better and are better prepared for you.

“For me the second season back was always going to be a lot tougher. Look at Free State Stars, they were fourth and then got relegated.

“Maritzburg United finished sixth and then the next season barely survived the promotion-relegation playoffs,” Da Gama added.

Highlands did start their second season with a place in the MTN8 final but in recent weeks have been battling with a tough schedule and long injury list.

“We’ve been very unfortunate, especially in the defensive department. We’ve had to reshuffle our defence almost every other game.”

Reaching the MTN8 final also meant catching up postponed league fixtures.

“We had nine games in a very short space of time and it was something we hadn’t previously been exposed to. Our guys were not used to the intensity,” the Highlands coach added.

“For us it has been about learning the hard way. That’s the best way to do it.”

PSL this weekend —

Friday:

Bidvest Wits 2 Cape Town City 0

Saturday:

Baroka FC v Stellenbosch FC (Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 3.30pm)

Orlando Pirates v Black Leopards (Orlando Stadium‚ 3.30pm)

Highlands Park v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Makhulong Stadium‚ 3.30pm)

Mamelodi Sundowns v Polokwane City (Loftus Versfeld‚ 6pm)

Chippa United v SuperSport United (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium‚ 8.15pm)

Sunday:

Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs (Harry Gwala Stadium‚ 3.30pm)

Bloemfontein Celtic v amaZulu (Dr Molemela Stadium‚ 3.30pm)

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