Absa Premiership

Troughton remains optimistic

2015-01-07 13:05
Sammy Troughton (Supplied)

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.

Troughton believes 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.

"The problem 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 undertaking.

"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."

Troughton 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 concluded.


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