Absa Premiership

Barker hails resilient Tuks

2013-09-15 13:45
Steve Barker (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Following his side's first PSL win of the season against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday, University of Pretoria coach Steve Barker has praised his team for showing a will to win and the type of character he expects from a top league soccer outfit.

Ugandan international Geofrey Massa scored on debut for the Pretoria side after Atusaye Nyondo gave the home side the lead two minutes earlier at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday afternoon, rounding off a solid 2-0 victory.

"Obviously I'm pleased. We needed to get a win," a relieved Barker said after the game.

"Overall, I'm pleased. I thought the commitment that the players put in again, you can never fault this team for their resilience and their hard work."

Nyondo's opener caught Celtic off guard, breaking the deadlock against the run of play in the 16th minute.

Massa's goal was the highlight of the encounter, as he thundered home from a free-kick that left the Celtic outfit rocked by a contender for goal-of-the-season.

"I must be honest, I think we've played better this season, but it's never easy when you go to 2-0 up after 20 minutes. It's a scoreline where, if you don't go and get that third goal, you end up sort of sitting back and allowing the opposition a bit too much space," Barker said.

"We can't allow that to happen, but in saying that, it was good to have everybody available for the first time this season."

Both Nyondo and Massa joined AmaTuks in the off season and Barker said he was delighted with the form the attackers showed, particularly as they had not played competitive soccer in recent months.

"The two players that scored had their first starts for us, so it was good that they both got off the mark.

"Geofrey Massa, I don't think has played a game in about two or three months, so for him to get close to 80 minutes when he's not at full fitness is good for him."

Tuks started the new campaign poorly, going down to Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United in consecutive defeats, before earning their first point with a goalless draw against Maritzburg United in their last league encounter.

However, Barker was confident his young team would be back to the kind of form that saw them finish inside the top eight last season, their first in the country's top-flight.

"I have to take the clean sheet. We've only conceded two goals in four games," he said.

"We're not a team that's easy to break down. We just have to be a bit smarter when we are leading matches, to just try and keep possession for a bit longer and not sit back too deep.

"I've said it in the last couple of weeks that it's just a matter of getting that first win under the belt and just getting that confidence and belief back."

Read more on:    university of pretoria  |  psl  |  steve barker  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Baroka FC v SuperSport United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:30
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Cape Town City FC, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.