Volume of games Stellies’ undoing says Steve Barker

Volume of games Stellies’ undoing says Steve Barker

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker believes the volume of matches over the last two weeks contributed to their defeat away to Moroka Swallows.

The Winelands-based outfit suffered a 2-0 loss to the Dube Birds on Saturday afternoon with goals from attackers Lindokuhle Mtshali and Gabadinho Mhango making sure Stellies returned home empty handed.

Barker admitted his charges looked jaded and lacked “spark”, the total oppositive of Swallows.

"They had a good desire and a higher desire today to get points which were much needed for them and for us probably not one of our best performances. I think just looking overall maybe a little bit of spark, a little bit of energy lacking today. I think part of is it as you know it's our fifth game in sort of two weeks and yeah we do have a sort of small squad. So, I think it just maybe caught up to us in a sense," Barker said. 

It was the first time Stellies lost in the DStv Premiership since September, and for that reason, Barker did not want to be too harsh in his remarks.

"A little bit second to too many situations and just maybe not only physically but mentally, a little bit maybe not as sharp as I would have wanted us to be. Tough game but I cannot take away from what the team has done, what they've achieved as a squad to have a lot changes beginning of the season, a tough start to the league where we lost five out of our first eight and to go unbeaten up until today in the league is testimony to what they've done. So, I cannot fault them as we speak, we're currently still second in the DStv Premiership," Barker added.

READ: Musa Nyatama thrilled with Swallows fight as they hit magic 32-point mark

Stellenbosch next face champions Mamelodi Sundowns and wrap up the season with a trip to Richards Bay this month.

Barker insists there’s still a lot on the line.

"There's still a lot to play for, a lot can still happen. Obviously, a setback for our ambitions to finish second in the league but in no way, we'll lose any hope or give up any sort of opportunity that are still awaiting us in terms of six points to play for. Tough day, not our best, important for us to regroup and reenergise, mentally refresh, physically refresh and get ourselves up for two more games. Regardless of what happens in the next two games, it will be a massive season for us."