Highlands Park cautiously eye PSL return

2018-02-25 06:07
Owen Da Gama (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Despite their healthy lead at the top, National First Division (NFD) runaway leaders Highlands Park are keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

Coach Owen Da Gama says he has warned his players that they have not won anything yet, and he believes the league is still far from being done and dusted.

Da Gama says they will take one game at a time and not get ahead of themselves.

“There are a lot of games still to be played and we are not there yet,” said Da Gama.

“We have to be very cautious in our approach because everyone is after our scalp. We are the hunted and we must be careful because any slip-up will give others hope that they can catch us.”

Highlands, who were relegated from the elite league at the end of last season, will take another step closer to making an immediate U-turn to the Absa Premiership when they host Uthongathi FC this afternoon.

The Lions of the North will be hoping to continue where they left off last weekend, when they demolished Jomo Cosmos 4-0 away from home.

But Da Gama reckons it won’t be an easy game for his side.

“[Uthongathi] have improved greatly since the arrival of Sammy Troughton [as coach]. They have actually done well and will want to prove a point against us. We have to be careful and not think we can beat anyone.”

Troughton’s team is fighting to retain its NFD status and was just four points above the relegation zone before today’s game. They need to start winning matches to stand any chance of survival.

Meanwhile, Cosmos will be hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s heavy defeat when they host Stellenbosch at Vosloorus Stadium.

Ezenkosi are still smarting from the Highlands loss and will want to forget about it and get their campaign back on track.

They lost their fourth spot to Black Leopards, but still have a chance to contest the promotion play-offs.

Stellenbosch, who are a place below Cosmos in sixth position, also have a chance to force their way into the play-offs. They are tied with Cosmos at 30 points and know a victory will take them over Ezenkosi and place them in a better position to challenge for the play-offs.

But all eyes will be on Da Gama’s side to see if they stretch their lead at the top, while Uthongathi will be looking to put the skids on their title challenge.

Read more on:    highlands park  |  nfd  |  soccer

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