Tuks to express themselves
Johannesburg - Having done enough to survive their first season in the PSL, University of Pretoria coach Steve Barker hopes his young squad will be able express themselves in their remaining fixtures.
"I think we need to now play with a bit more freedom and have a little bit of a go," Barker said.
"We don't really have much to lose at this stage. We've succeeded in what we set out to do at the beginning of the season, so I think we need to go into the last two games and play some good, positive football."
A narrow defeat at the hands of student rivals Wits ended AmaTuks' unbeaten run of eight successive matches on Wednesday, denting their bid for a top-eight finish.
"We just wanted to concentrate on what we needed to do (against Wits) and we had been on a good run," Barker said.
"Eight points from the last 12 and unbeaten in eight (games), so we were hoping that momentum could carry us through."
Barker added that he was disappointed not to pick up any points against the Clever Boys, but was still confident his charges could bag more points before the end of the campaign.
"We're not a team that easily lose two in a row, so we just have to get our feet back up, with two games to play, and finish as strong as we can.
"Even though we were disjointed and we played badly, we're not far off any team in this league and we have to take the positives out of things like this and work hard in the off-season to further strengthen the squad." With a tricky penultimate fixture against struggling Chippa United next week, Barker said it would be crucial to win the game if Tuks, lying ninth in the standings, stood any chance of finishing in the top half of the table.
"I felt that we needed to get six points from the last three games, which would guarantee us a top-eight finish.
"We haven't got anything (against Wits) so it puts a bit of pressure on us.
"We have to go away to Chippa, who seem to have turned the corner, and we have to get three points… that's the bottom line.
"We have to go into the last game with a chance and that means we have to get a positive against Chippa, not just a draw but go for a win."