Coach banks on remaining games to survive chop

Larsen content after Pondo's first away point

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Clinton Larsen.
Clinton Larsen.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Earning their maiden away point via drawing 1-all with fellow strugglers Steenberg on Wednesday has left Bizana Pondo Chiefs coach Clinton Larsen optimistic that they will avoid relegation.

After 10 unsuccessful attempts to get at least a draw on the road, Pondo Chiefs finally managed to snatch a point in what was their 11th away tie at Steenberg. The GladAfrica Championship newbies are bottom of the log with just 16 points from 22 outings.

Larsen, who only joined the Hunters late last month, feels avoiding an away defeat for the first time this season will help them turn the corner. The experienced trainer wasn’t aware of this unwanted record. 

“It came as a shock to me that the team had never picked up a point from 10 attempts from the road. Now that we have done it, it’s a good motivating factor going forward… it’s something we should build on,’’ Larsen told Sowetan yesterday.

“This [poor away record] explains why the team is where it is. But now we’re all positive; we’re heading in the right direction. Everyone is motivated that we’ll survive.’’

Larsen targets five wins from their eight games remaining, reckoning that, coupled with a few draws, will be enough to see them secure their berth in the division for next term.

“We need to get something out of all our remaining games. Eight games [remaining], 24 points to still play for – that’s a lot of points. I know we’re going to win a few games. I think we need to win at least five games to survive and a few draws,’’ said the Bizana Chiefs coach.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows coach is also encouraged by the presence of experienced new recruits like Deolin Mekoa, Lerato Manzini and fledging star Shaquille Abrahams, formerly of Cape Town City.

Fixtures (all at 3pm)

Today: Umoya v Royal, Parow Park Stadium

Tomorrow: Spurs v Pondo Chiefs, Parow Park Stadium; Uthongathi v Bay, Princess Magogo Stadium; FS Stars v JDR, Goble Park Stadium; Sporting v AmaTuks, Kabokweni Stadium

Sunday: Polokwane v All Stars, Peter Mokaba Stadium; Sekhukhune v Cosmos, Makhulong Stadium

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