STELLENBOSCH coach Steve Barker has welcomed Robyn Johannes at the Cape winelands club.
Johannes quit Bidvest Wits over lack of game time, returning to the Western Cape to shore up a leaky Stellies defence. Barker has struggled to get the PSL rookies firing. They are yet to taste victory in the Absa Premiership, having drawn two and lost two matches. Barker, however, is optimistic that his side will soon move away from the bottom of the table.
The PSL rookies are among the four teams that are yet to win a match this season, having lost twice and drew the same number of matches.
Other teams that had a win-less run before the Fifa calendar break are Chippa United, Maritzburg United and AmaZulu.
The Cape Town-based outfit are second bottom, tied with Maritzburg United on two points.
Only one point separates the reigning National First Division (NFD) champions from bottom club AmaZulu.
Stellies resume their league schedule with a date against the unpredictable Bloemfontein Celtic at Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday (3pm).
Said Barker: “The break was good for us. It gave me a chance to fix one or two things.
“We have been working hard on improving other aspects of our game, including physically and mentally.”
The former University Of Pretoria mentor has been sharpening his blunt attack to ensure they convert chances they create.
His side have yet to score a goal so far, having conceded three times.
Ironically, the only goal they have in their books came via an own goal by Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo when they beat them 2-1 in their last league game
“There are a lot of positives we have taken on board from the four matches we played. We have been creating chances and we should be able to score more goals in our upcoming games.”
However, the 51-year-old mentor is aware that his side will need to be on their toes to overcome the resilience Siwelele that have lost twice, drew one, with one victory that came via a 5-0 walloping of Golden Arrows.
“Celtic are a good side and showed that when they finished eighth last season under difficult circumstances. They showed against Arrows, scoring five goals and put opponent on the back-foot. They have good quality players, but they conceded eight goals in their last five matches which shows they can get exploited. But any game in Bloemfontein is tough. We need to work extra hard and I believe we can win games going forward.”
Stellies will play without Ashley Du Preez, who is still nursing an injury.