News24

Stars prepare for tough week

2012-02-20 16:34

Johannesburg - Platinum Stars coach Owen da Gama faces a tough Premiership week ahead with acid tests from his former clubs Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Stars have not won a league match since their 4-1 win over Santos in October 2011, losing five and drawing three of their last eight encounters.

After a promising start to their campaign, they have plummeted to 14th on the standings, with 13 points after 17 games.

"We have had a lot of challenges and a lot to overcome," said Da Gama.

"Some of the matches we lost were games we could have won and the boys know that, so they took the losses very badly.

"It's been tough but we have to push through against Pirates and Celtic."

Last Wednesday, Dinaledi threw away a 2-0 lead, to lose 3-2 to Ajax Cape Town away.

Da Gama was also concerned about the erratic performances of some of his key players, who go from one extreme to the other.

"We should have beaten Ajax and the players know this. This will be their motivation for the next matches," he said.

"There has been a concern with players having their [bad] days.

"Sometimes there are injuries and suspensions, which you can do nothing about.

"We have to build and continue on our process, bearing in mind that we brought in a lot of young players at the start of the season."

Dinaledi play Pirates - who will be out to redeem themselves after their CAF Champions League loss on the weekend - at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Wednesday evening.

On Sunday, they travel to Botshabelo Stadium in the Free State province to meet Celtic - a team who are hard to beat at home.

Striker Robert N'gambi and midfielder Morgan Shivambu are unavailable due to injury, while Sipho Nkosi faces a late fitness test.

Midfielder Thomas Molongoane will miss the clash against Pirates as he is suspended and Ntsikelelo Nyawuza will miss both games after his red card against Ajax.

SAPA