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Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker is hopeful that Saturday’s win over Kaizer Chiefs will inspire his side to finish above their target of a top eight finish in the DStv Premiership this season.

Stellenbosch completed a domestic double over Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday evening after a solitary goal from homegrown talent Deano van Rooyen earned the Cape-based outfit an impressive 1-0 win at the Danie Craven Stadium.

The result saw Stellies consolidate their place in sixth position in the DStv Premiership standings where they have now earned 39 points with four matches remaining and bolstered their ambitions of qualifying for next season’s MTN 8 competition.

That was always the target for club coach Steve Barker after a disappointing 2019/20 campaign and the 54-year-old believes his side can take confidence from the win over Chiefs to aim for an even more ambitious goal in the coming weeks.

“There are still four games left, the top eight is still our priority and I believe we are probably only one win away from securing that. If we can, and have two or three matches left, then we can even push for higher,” Barker said during his post-match press conference.

“It’s been a perennial battle for me just trying to get these players to understand that they have to have more belief in what they are capable of doing. Sometimes I wonder if they actually believe that they can finish in a top-four or top-five position.

“A game like tonight and a victory like tonight’s in front of a stadium of spectators has to give us confidence as a team and as a club and has to give the players the confidence [to believe] that there is no reason why we can’t finish the next four games in really strong fashion.

“Imagine a quarter-final at home in the MTN 8 – but before that, we’ve still got to get three or four more points to secure that top eight position.”

Stellenbosch will be in action again in 10 days’ time when they face SuperSport United away from home before returning to the Danie Craven Stadium to play host to relegation-threatened Maritzburg United just four days later.

Barker & co. will then meet champions-elect Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria before bringing the campaign to a close in inevitably dramatic fashion against Cape derby rivals Cape Town City, who they will similarly be hoping to do the double over this season.


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