Livid Bartlett’s hairdryer treatment not enough to motivate Arrows

2014-03-14 00:00

GOLDEN Arrows caretaker coach Shaun Bartlett was visibly livid following his side’s 2-1 loss against Mpumalanga Black Aces on Wednesday night.

The defeat at King Zwelithini Stadium has left the Umlazi-based side bottom of the PSL and four points behind 15th placed Free State Stars with 10 rounds of fixtures remaining.

A lot can still happen in that time, but Arrows will need to gather significant points in their next three fixtures against Moroka Swallows (away), Wits (home) and Maritzburg United (away) if they are to get the ball rolling towards safety.

It is a tough ask for a largely restructured squad that has only been playing together since the start of the year after then-coach Mark Harrison brought in no less than seven new faces.

Arrows were completely outplayed in the first half on Wednesday night by a Clive Barker outfit that kept the ball and their shape with aplomb, and the 1-0 half-time score line in the favour of the visitors could have been greater.

But Arrows were a different side in the second half and their tenacity was rewarded when Rudolf Bester equalised before Aces scored a second to steal all three points with 15 minutes to play.

“I had a go at them at half time,” Bart­lett conceded to The Witness after his side’s lacklustre display in the opening period.

“I pretty much told them that we can’t allow these teams to come here and take points from us. This is our home and if you want to stay in the PSL then you need to fight for every point.”

The fact that other relegation threatened teams — Polokwane City and Free State Stars — lost their matches midweek made the result even worse for Arrows.

“It is very disappointing. I keep saying that we are depending on other teams to lose points and that has happened, but we need to do our job,” said Bartlett.

“It was a bit of a setback conceding, but we needed to bounce back. You can’t play football for 45 minutes. You have to start the game in the right tempo.”

While football pundits around the country have all but written off Arrows’ chances of staying up this season, Bart­lett remains optimistic.

“It is always difficult after losing a game because you have to pick up the boys,” he said. “But we are definitely not out of it. There are still 10 games to go.”

At the other end of the spectrum, the Durban-born Barker was full of praise for his team.

“I tell you what, they might not be top of the log but they pass the ball better than anybody in the country,” the 1996 African Cop of Nations-winning coach said. “I look forward to watching this side play. I get quite excited on the bench when they start moving the ball around. I think they’re a very good team.”

Aces have now almost certainly preserved their top flight status for next season, and sit in 10th place on the log, 14 points ahead of Arrows.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.