Johannesburg - Under-siege Platinum Stars coach Allan Freese is not too concerned about reports of an exodus of his club's stalwarts and its lack of lustre in the first half of the season.
"I am not worried about all that - players come and go," Freese said in Rustenburg on Friday.
"We lost good players at the beginning of the season, like Issa Sarr to Pirates, but still managed to fare well under those circumstances.
Defenders Tshepo Gumede and Luvolwethu Mpeta, industrious midfielder Robert Ng'ambi and goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane were reportedly leaving the club.
"The players rumoured to be leaving are still here so until such time the management say something different to me, they remain key members of my squad," Freese said.
Unlucky to lose
Dikwena had lost its zest after closing out the first half of the season second from the bottom of the Premiership log standings, with 17 points from 16 matches.
Despite advancing to their second successive Telkom Knockout final last month, where they lost to SuperSport United, Freese's future at the club was uncertain.
"I have been in football for too many years to start worrying about my future," he said.
"I won two successive knockout titles last season and we were unlucky to lose to United in the final, so the statistics tells a different story.
"The chairperson, Ratanang Nke, has been supportive in ensuring that we enter the second round of the season better prepared and for me it's all systems go."
Skipper Vuyo Mere was still sidelined with an ankle injury, Sundowns bound winger Mogakolodi Ngele had yet to reproduce his sizzling talent while Solomon Mathe seemed to have lost his form in the middle of the park.
"I have identified the players needed to bolster the team and the management is working around the clock to ensure that they join us," Freese said.
"It is difficult to get quality players with most players tied to contracts with the league's big spenders, so that means we must also look outside the country.
"Our development structure has been fantastic with winger Mahlatse Makudubela having proved us right that we are indeed doing the right thing."
Freese said his aim was to get 20 points when the league resumed to ensure safety from the relegation zone at the end of the season.
"This team represent the heart and soul of North-West Province and there is no way we can get relegated," he said.
"We were just unlucky in some matches but with the Afcon break now, I am hoping to get everything right, including players like Mere who are injured."