PSL

Bartlett blames goal-shy Arrows

2014-05-08 16:28
Shaun Bartlett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Interim coach Shaun Bartlett believes the failure to score goals this season was the ultimate reason why Lamontville Golden Arrows were relegated from the Absa Premiership.

Arrows' 14-year stay in the top-flight has come to an end after their fate for next season was confirmed on Tuesday.

Abafana Bes'thende will play in the National First Division (NFD) next season after a 1-0 loss to AmaZulu in the KwaZulu-Natal derby sealed the news that everyone associated with the Umlazi-based club did not want to hear.

With one game of the season to play, 16th-placed Arrows are five points adrift of Free State Stars in 15th position and only three more points available. Defeat to Usuthu was also their 20th of the season, while they have scored a woeful 25 times.

According to supersport.com website, Bartlett was displeased with the amount of goals scored despite his team's performance.

"Once again it was a game we didn’t deserve to lose and that's been the story of our season," Bartlett said. "Unfortunately for all the good play we've had, dominating games and being on top of teams, if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, you can't win games.

"That was proven again here and it's the reason why we are going down." 

"It (our struggles) is not something that has only come along this season, it's something that has been threatening for four or five years," Bartlett explained in reference to the club twice ending 13th, 11th and 12th in the last four years.

"When myself and (fellow caretaker coach) Bheka Phakathi took over the team it was really in dire straits.

"We've had to try and make the best of it. We gave it our best shot, but it simply wasn’t good enough at the end. Maybe we waited too late to get the results, perhaps if we'd done it two or three games earlier it would have made a difference."

When the final whistle sounded at the Princess Magogo Stadium, several Arrows players slumped to their knees in disappointment, while others were in tears.

"Everybody's gutted," Bartlett added. "Some players still don’t realise what's just happened now until they open the papers tomorrow and see what has transpired.

"The reality is that a lot of these players are going to have to look for jobs. That's what I kept telling them from the outset, they have to fight for their jobs, fight for their lives and making sure we can survive in this PSL because the contracts they have are for the PSL.

"They are not NFD contracts and they're going to have to speak to the owner to work out a way forward."

Arrows' final game of the season is against Orlando Pirates at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

Read more on:    golden arrows  |  psl  |  soccer
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