Johannesburg - Seven may be considered a lucky number to a great many people but not to Black Aces and former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker.
After Aces slipped to bottom position in the Premiership log, following their 2-0 defeat against Platinum Stars at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday night, Barker pointed to the fact that the Nelspruit-based club had lost seven key players from the squad which finished among the top eight teams last season.
"For a club with our resources that is a huge chunk of manpower," said the coach who guided Bafana Bafana to the African Nations Cup title in 1996.
"And obviously, it will require a period of adjustment in getting the revised squad to fit smoothly into a similar pattern and style of play we had last season."
Barker, nevertheless, remained confident that occupying bottom position in the log would only be a temporary affliction for Aces.
"It's not that we have played badly in our opening games of the season, and we've also come up against some pretty stiff opposition. For example, we had to play Kaizer Chiefs, the form team in the PSL right now, in both the league and the MTN8 competition -- and the second time around in the league it was a pretty close affair.
"Platinum Stars are also one of the better teams in the PSL and losing against them is no disgrace, although we had our chances and conceded an early penalty from which they opened the score and that turned the course of the match."
Barker said there would be no desperate buying on the part of Aces on the transfer market as his existing squad was capable of doing the job.
"I'm confident the players I have in harness will mould into a pretty useful combination and soon begin to move up the log table.
"As for relegation, we're not even thinking about it."