Cape Town - University
of Pretoria coach Sammy Troughton remains optimistic about his side’s prospects
during the second half of the season, despite encountering considerable
difficulty in 2014.
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AmaTuks managed to
steer clear of the relegation zone after the first 17 rounds of their campaign
and currently occupy 12th spot in the league standings.
While the situation
is still rather grave, Troughton takes solace from the fact that his squad
managed to emerge virtually unscathed under very difficult circumstances.
"I think we
will come back stronger and with more purpose. We will be in the fight for our
lives and we need to be up for it," he said.
When AmaTuks earned
promotion to the Premiership at the end of the 2011/12 season, the leadership
at the club made it painstakingly clear that the intention would be stay in the
South African top flight for as long as is possible.
that his players have the capacity to do just that and expects the outcome to
be positive at the campaign's conclusion, even though Tuks will have to work
for every point that they earn.
"We are a good
enough team to stay in the top flight and I have no doubts that we can do
it," added Troughton.
As the first half of
the current season drew closer to its conclusion last year, there were indeed
promising signs for Tuks, who managed to secure three draws and a win during
their last four matches of 2014.
There is certainly a
platform to build on this year and the intention is to exploit the
opportunities when they do present themselves.
for us hasn't been the big clubs, it's been the clubs in and around us,
fighting the very same fight as us," continued Troughton.
"We have to be
willing to battle until the death with clubs looking to climb up the table and
not just show up when we play more affluent teams."
An aspect which will
help determine the level of success for Tuks in 2015 will be the ability of the
club to secure the services of players that it needs during the transfer
window. While Troughton has expressed the desire to secure the services of
several players this January, he does acknowledge that it will be an enormous
"It all depends
on whether those players we are interested in are available. Their present
clubs have to be willing to offload them and that will be the challenge for
us," he added.
"We will see
what happens. I have submitted my wish-list to the management and we will have
to see who we can get."
highlighted the fact that he would not be signing players for the sake of
signing them though, adding that he would only bolster areas of his squad which
needed to be bolstered.
"We don't want
players who are just going to make up the numbers. We want players who can add
actual value to the team and help us achieve our objectives," he