Absa Premiership

Barker prepared to bite

2014-12-02 11:45
Steve Barker (Supplied)
Steve Barker (Supplied)
Cape Town - AmaZulu coach Steve Barker understands that he will be expected to produce immediate results when his team hosts the University of Pretoria at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Tuesday.

Barker was only appointed by AmaZulu at the end of November and the Premiership fixture against Tuks will present the first opportunity for him to prove to the local football fraternity that he is indeed the right man for the job.

While, the pressure to perform appears to be immense, Barker has embraced the challenges which lie ahead at his new club.

"Look, I’m aware of their abilities and it’s not going to be easy for us as a team but we’ll fight for the three points," said Barker on Tuesday.

Barker has an intimate knowledge of Tuks, having coached at the club for the greater part of six seasons. He was also deeply involved with the club until last week and knows better than most that they are not to be trifled with this term, which he feels will make a victory against them that much more rewarding.

"We all have the responsibility to lift the club from the relegation zone and there’s nothing better than collecting three points against Tuks," added Barker.

There are currently several complications at AmaZulu, including an extensive injury list. However, Barker has suggested that there was simply no room to make excuses this week.

"We have six injuries and that gives you a thin squad but all the players know that they must pull on the jersey and fight."

The first few days of a coach’s tenure at a new club are often the most difficult and the transition is not always a seamless one.

However, Barker is confident that he has been able to prepare his squad as best he can under the current circumstances.

"I’m happy with the commitment from my players and their response has been positive," said Barker.

After the match against Tuks, AmaZulu will also have the unenviable task of playing against Mpumalanga Black Aces during the weekend. The schedule is undoubtedly a tough one but Barker is not deterred by it, at all.

"They have displayed the commitment to win and are hungry to bounce back - we hope to win against Tuks and obviously follow up on Saturday (versus Mpumalanga Black Aces).

"This week sees four days that are very crucial for us as a club in terms of climbing up the log."

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