Absa Premiership

Boebie hopes for strong finish

2014-04-06 12:36
Boebie Solomons (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Polokwane City boss Abubakaar Solomons has targeted eight points from his team's remaining five fixtures as the Premiership strugglers look to secure their top-flight status ahead of next season.

"I'm taking it one game at a time. If we can pick up seven points from our three homes games, I will be very happy," Solomons said after City managed a scrappy 2-1 Premiership win over the University of Pretoria at the Tuks Stadium, in Pretoria, on Saturday evening.

"If we can get one point from the other two, I think that should be okay for us. It all depends on what happens to the other teams."

A controversial penalty seconds before half-time helped Solomons' outfit along, as Buhle Mkhwanazi was penalised for bringing down a City player inside the box, when it appeared the defender had got to the ball first, before toppling the opposition player.

The result was put beyond doubt in the 90th minute as Thobani Mncwango netted the second for City, just moments before Tuks pulled one back from an own goal.

Although a dubious decision from referee Phillip Tinyani in awarding the penalty, Solomons felt his team deserved a bit of fortune finally going their way.

"We need a bit of luck as well and hopefully our luck will turn into our favour in the last couple of games.

"That's why I always tell my players not to slide in the box, because even if it's going to be a tight situation, nine times out of 10 the referee gives a penalty.

"Always when you get behind the defence, it becomes a problem and when somebody slides to get the ball, it's a very dicey situation.

"So the fact that he (Mkhwanazi) slid in the box, that probably made up the ref's mind."

Solomons conceded that his team did what was necessary and was delighted to have walked away with their first away win of the season, which lifts them into 14 position in the league standings and out of the relegation zone.

"It wasn't a pretty game, but we didn't come here to play a pretty game... we came here to try and get three points.

"An away point would have been good for us, but to get three points is obviously a bonus. I'm just happy for the three points. That is the most important thing for me. How we played is not important to me now."

Rise and Shine lead 15th-placed Free State Stars by two points, but have played a game more than the Free Staters, while Golden Arrows occupy last position and look destined for the axe from the country's top division at the end of the season.

The team who finish in 15th position in May head into the Premiership/National First Division playoffs, to decide who remains in the top tier, making 14th spot an enviable position for Solomons to hold on to.

"Hopefully we can avoid the playoff and that will be objective achieved.

"Playoffs are a nightmare. It puts you back three or four weeks where your players are not able to go home and then you only have one or two weeks to prepare for the new season.

"Also when it comes to signing players, you're not sure if you're going to be in or out [of the Premiership] so can't definitely sign players." City next take on Maritzburg United, at home, on Wednesday.

Read more on:    polokwane city  |  psl  |  boebie solomons  |  pretoria  |  soccer

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