ARROWS FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL
By: Sihle Sikhakhane
Lamontville Golden Arrows’ interim coach Shaun Bartlett believes that a win over Mpumalanga Black Aces this week is vital for their relegation survival hopes.
Abafana Besthende are currently on the bottom of the league table with 13 points having played 19 games will face Amazayoni who are above them with 17 points with same games played.
Aces will be without their key striker Mabhuti Khanyeza, who on Monday, was found guilty of unsporting behaviour by SAFA Arbitrator resulting in him missing the next six games and fined a suspended R100 000.
Bartlett insisted that it was too early to forecast on what a defeat would mean. “It’s a home game and three points are absolutely essential,” said Bartlett, whose side wasted a golden chance to put points on the board when they went down 4-2 to University of Pretoria in their last game.
Bartlett said, “We had enough time to prepare for the game, 12 days, which is a big plus.The last loss against Tuks was massive. It was a huge blow for us; especially considering it was our home game.
“What it means is we now have to go somewhere else and pick up three points and that’s what I’ve told the players. If we lose at home we have to make it up. We had blocks of four games from the last 12 with a certain number of points per block; we’re now behind our target.”
The Durban based side coach is targeting 34 points and he said they he calculated that they need 21 points from here.
Caretaker coach Bheka Phakathi says it’s going to be difficult but he thinks 15 of those points are at home.
“There are certain places also where I’ve put down one point away, but we can get threeSome of those are AmaZulu away, Maritzburg away and those are KwaZulu-Natal derbies, where emotion can take over. On the day anything can happen and hopefully those will be in our favour.”
After facing Amazayoni, Arrows face four current top-eight sides at home – Supersport United, Bidvest Wits, Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates.
Their remaining away fixtures are against Moroka Swallows, Maritzburg, Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars and Kaizer Chiefs.