Cape Town - If AmaZulu are relegated to the National First Division (NFD)
this season it would take a brave man to blame coach Steve Barker.
Usuthu go into Saturday’s final round of fixtures in 15th
spot on the log looking for victory over Maritzburg United at Moses Mabhida
If Chippa United lose to
champions Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday and AmaZulu win, then the Durban club will almost certainly avoid the play-offs altogether and finish the season in 14th, ensuring their PSL status. Moroka Swallows could mathematically overtake AmaZulu with a win of their own, but goal difference makes that highly unlikely if AmaZulu win too.
Regardless of what happens, AmaZulu have shown tremendous
fight over the second half of the season.
Barker joined the KZN strugglers when they were without a win
after 11 matches on November 23. If all 16 sides were reset to 0 points at
that time then AmaZulu would currently occupy sixth place on the log. Since
Barker’s arrival they have amassed 23 points from 18 matches. Chippa would be
bottom of the log (11 points) while Mpumalanga Black Aces would be just above
them on 14 points.
Steve Barker’s uncle and former Bafana Bafana coach Clive
Barker has no doubts that Usuthu will still be in the PSL in 2015/16.
“I’m so proud of Steve and what he’s achieved,” Clive Barker,
the current Head of Development at Black Aces, said on Friday.
“It has been an uphill battle for him. It is very important
for the PSL that AmaZulu stay up, and I have no doubt that they will. Whether
it be through the play-offs or if they go straight through, they will stay in
the league next season. I am backing them completely.”
All matches on Saturday kick-off at 3 pm.
Wits v Platinum Stars
Ajax Cape Town v Orlando Pirates
Moroka Swallows v Bloemfontein Celtic
Free State Stars v Black Aces
Mamelodi Sundowns v University of Pretoria
AmaZulu v Maritzburg United
Chippa United v Kaizer Chiefs
Polokwane City v SuperSport United