Cape Town - Clive Barker believes his nephew, Steve, would have a strong case for PSL coach of the year should he save AmaZulu from relegation.
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Steve Barker in November parted ways with the University of Pretoria in order to take charge of last-placed Usuthu mid-season.
Barker took over as coach when AmaZulu were winless and rooted to the bottom of the table with seven losses and four draws.
Five months later the KZN club has improved immensely having notched up five wins in the Premiership under Barker.
The tactician has steadied the ship and in his 15 league games in charge Usuthu won five, lost six and drew four.
"I think it would be a great achievement especially after everybody had already written off the team and they seemed destined for relegation," Clive said.
"To find the team dead last on the table and many points adrift of the other teams - to now having a fighting chance to avoid relegation altogether has been a massive task.
"Should they avoid relegation I think Steve surely will be up there as one of the candidates for coach of the season."
Barker said him punting his nephew had nothing to do with nepotism, adding: "That is the honest truth. It's not because we are family but he has done really well and that's for all to see."
Ted Dumitru, another legendary coach in South African football, also believes Steve should be in with a shout if AmaZulu avoid the chop.
"Without doubt he has done a wonderful job at AmaZulu. We was able to pick them up while they were down," Dumitru said.
"Most of the time they look at the coach of the team that has won the league, but if Steve saves them from relegation then that feat is just as impressive."
AmaZulu have made the climb from last position to 15th in the table with 23 points. They are, however, equal on points with last-placed Moroka Swallows, but have a superior goal difference.
They are five points behind Free State Stars in 14th and six points behind Chippa United in 13th place.
AmaZulu have four matches left in the season, against Platinum Stars, SuperSport United, AmaTuks and Maritzburg United.