There is still a lot of hard work ahead for Mthatha Bucks despite their encouraging 2-1 victory over Cape Town All Stars this past weekend, according to coach Ian Palmer.
Mthatha Bucks coach Ian Palmer.Picture FILE
The result at the Mthatha Stadium did not come easily and more will be needed if they wanted to compete in the National First Division this season.
Amathol’amnyama have had an unfortunate run so far, having drawn three, won three and lost two games this season. But their convincing win against the Cape Town outfit meant they moved up to fifth position on the log, allowing their coach to breath a sigh of relief after it was rumoured his job was on the line if he lost another game.
“The boys showed a lot of character and I think we could have been two goals up in the first half because we were not finishing our chances and we could have gone into halftime with three goals,” said Palmer.
“Then we conceded a silly goal trying to get through to their midfield and we had to change the game again. We went up again with the good work of Sakhele Nhlabathi and Sifiso Ntjolo who scored for us as they were coming back from injuries and it was really good having them back as they made a huge impact on the team.”
Palmer said he brought in experienced players like Shane Thompson as defensive midfielder just to protect their lead and also gave new players to the team some much needed game time.
“I also brought [Luyolo] Nomandela in to make sure that he develops match fitness as soon as possible. There was a lot of tension in the change-room building up to the weekend because of certain rumours saying that if I lose I might not have a job. So I think it got to the players and they were very sad.
“I just had to make sure they stayed calm and know that it’s not their pressure it’s mine not theirs to deal with and that they should go out there and enjoy the game. But when you look at the training session we had today – such lovely atmosphere there.”
Palmer said they were a lot confident going to an away game against Real Kings in Durban. “I think we also a bit more wiser because of the two previous losses that we have. So I just think we need to do a lot of analysis on Kings but luckily I have watched about two of their games.”