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Steve Barker sends a warning to Orlando Pirates

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has warned Orlando Pirates to write off his team at their own peril, explaining why he believes they can reach the MTN8 final.

Barker is optimistic about causing an upset at Pirates as they also begin life without midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa.

Stellies will take on the Buccaneers in the second leg of the MTN8 semi-final in Orlando on Sunday. They trail 2-1 and will need to score by a two-goal margin to have a chance to progress to the final. 

They face a Pirates side that comes into the match with two straight defeats, in the CAF Champions League and DStv Premiership against rivals Mamelodi Sundowns


Barker says stranger things have happened before and nothing is impossible for them to get into the final. 

“We have a chance, we have shown in both games against Pirates that we beat them this season, we also lost 2-1,” he told the media. 

“Obviously [playing] away from home at Orlando Stadium it’s an even more difficult task. We just have to go there and change our mood in terms of enjoying the moment and the opportunity of being in the semi-final.

“An opportunity to go to the final, we go there and know it’s separate from the league, has its pressures, but it’s a different game. It’s a different tournament so we can approach it with positivity and we give it our best shot,” added Barker. 

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker is optimistic of causing an upset at Orlando Pirates as they also begin life without midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa.
Sibongiseni Mthethwa

“Should we fail, it won’t be because we have not tried, that I can guarantee you. We will try our best and we will be as committed as ever. Stranger things have happened and it’s not impossible for us to get to the final.”


Stellies will be without midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa who recently completed a move to Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs. Defender Isamel Olivier will also not be available for the match following his red card during the 2-0 defeat to Moroka Swallows. 

They say a wounded animal is the most dangerous at times. We need to be positive and look forward to a fantastic opportunity. It’s not every year that you are in the semi-final of a major competition, so we are positive and looking forward to that. 

“Now we don’t have OX [Sibongiseni Mthethwa], Toure is on a red card and is not available. You know there is this injury and that injury so we know that it’s not going to be an easy task. But sometimes when you sort of have your back against the wall that’s when you are dangerous,” he said. 

“We have absolutely nothing to lose. We know we have to score two goals, we can score two and they score five and we would have not achieved the objective. But we want to score two goals to keep us in the tie.”

RELATED STORY: Ntseki views Mthethwa and other new recruits as future investment

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