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Coach doubts players’ fighting spirit

Bartlett frets over Spurs’ string of losses

Neville Khoza Journalist
Given Mashikinya of Polokwane City and Michael Morton of Cape Town Spurs during the DStv Premiership match between Polokwane City and Cape Town Spurs at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday
Given Mashikinya of Polokwane City and Michael Morton of Cape Town Spurs during the DStv Premiership match between Polokwane City and Cape Town Spurs at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday
Image: Gallo Images/Philip Maeta

Cape Town Spurs coach Shaun Bartlett has questioned the commitment of some of his players following their third successive defeat in the DStv Premiership. 

Spurs have found the going tougher since they were promoted to the Premiership after losing all their matches to remain bottom of the table.

On Saturday, they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Polokwane City at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, with a brace by Oswin Appollis either side of the half and another by Douglas Mapfumo, while Khaya Mfecane netted the consolation.

“I don’t know if it is anxiety or nerves, but we have to get over this because it is not going to help us going forward,” Bartlett told the media after the match.

“We’ve to ensure that we pick up points as quickly as possible. Maybe the only positive thing is the fact that we managed to score a goal, but I think we pushed on after we conceded the third goal.

“We need to do that from the beginning, not when we are in a losing position.”

Bartlett warned that some players faced the possibility of being dropped from the team in their upcoming match against Chippa United at home on Friday.

“We can’t run away from it three losses in three matches, it means now we have to do something different, maybe the personnel that we have used this far is not good enough,” he said.

“The fighting spirit, I’ve to ask a lot of questions to the players in the field if they don’t bring enough, we will look at different players who can help us. I think that’s the biggest challenge for us to change the squad.

“We’ve to find a reaction next Friday at home against Chippa, not an ideal way to start the DStv Premiership, but I think it is a wake-up call for our boys. To compete at the highest level you also have to increase your capacity.”

Meanwhile, Polokwane coach Lehlohonolo Seema was pleased with his side’s character after registering two successive victories, but they are not a complete team yet.

“We keep our foot on the ground because there is still a long way to go, and credit to the players, this is a result of hard work,” Seema said.

“We are still a work in progress. You could see the chances we created. We should have buried them, but we will work harder than we can too.”

Fixtures

Wednesday: Bay v Sundowns, King Zwelithini (5pm); CPT v Sekhukhune, Athlone (7.30pm)

Friday: Spurs v Chippa, Athlone (7.30pm)

Saturday: Chiefs v AmaZulu, FNB 5.30pm; Stellenbosch v SuperSport, Danie Craven (8pm).

Sunday: Royal v Galaxy, Harry Gwala (3pm). 


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