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Barker credits Downs for ‘continuous domination of SA football’

Neville Khoza Journalist
Stellenbosch FC head coach Steve Barker.
Stellenbosch FC head coach Steve Barker.
Image: Gallo Images/Ashley Vlotman

Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker believes it will be difficult for any team to stop Mamelodi Sundowns this season with the quality they have.

The Brazilians set a new record for the longest unbeaten run in the DStv Premiership after they beat Stellenbosch 3-1 at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Sundowns overtook Kaizer Chiefs, who achieved the feat in 2005 and also equalled the record for the longest winning run at the start of the season as they won eight matches in succession.

With the quality they have, Barker feels once they are in that position, it will be difficult for anyone to catch up with them as they moved to 24 points in the log table.

"Once you are already in that position and the quality of the squad that you have it becomes really difficult for other teams," Barker told the media after the match at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.

"But obviously Sundowns have got other competitions that they will be involved with, but fortunately for them, they have enough depth you could see they were able to make six or seven changes in their starting lineup.

"They will be a tough knock to crack and credit must go to them for their continuous domination of SA football."

Barker added that he knew they were facing a difficult side as they were there without some of their key players, including Iqraam Rayners, who picked a knock against Orlando Pirates on Sunday.

"Obviously, we knew coming into the match we knew it would be a very challenging task for us. Sundowns are the benchmarks of SA football and also one of the best teams in the continent, having gone unbeaten in 31 games," he said.

"In our last five encounters, we have won two, drawn two and lost once. Now it's six after this match. We showed that we are capable of taking on a team like Sundowns and beating them.

"The key is normally, when we play them we cause problems in transition. But if a player like Rayners is not available it doesn't help you.

"We also know that they are experienced and well organized, we had also planned for their line, but they made changes to their lineup."

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