'Two crucial final home matches'
29 April 2016
Mthatha Bucks have just two remaining games at home – against Cape Town All Stars this Saturday, 30 April, and against Highlands Park on May 15.
“Our last two home games, against Cape Town All Stars and then Highlands Park, are crucial,” says Amathol’amnyama General Manager Luxolo Matikinca.
“The points we collect in them could determine our survival. So we need all the support we can get, and want to thanks our fans for their fantastic support this season, they have not let us down and we have really been able to count on them, even when the team was not doing well. We really appreciate it, any victory the team achieves is a victory for the supporters.”
It has been the arrival of head coach Velile Dyaloyi last November that has turned the club’s fortunes around after they struggled for the first four months of the season.
“The technical team under Velile Dyaloyi have done superbly,” said Matikinca. “When they started out, we had only around seven points on the board, now we have 23 and are out of the relegation zone, with 12 points still to play for.”
Last Saturday saw Bucks coming from a goal down against FC Cape Town to level late on in the game through new signing Petros Ngebo, the former Bafana Bafana striker, the team now three points above the drop zone.
“It was very encouraging, the boys showed great character. We lost concentration to concede a goal just before half time, and even though we had missed chances and could have won the game, we kept on fighting right till the end and were rewarded with a point.
“It gives us hope, it shows the players are prepared to work hard, that they want to stay in the NFD. In our last eight or nine matches, we have lost only once, to Black Leopards. Yes, we would like to convert more draws to wins, but each point could be vital, and this is what has allowed us to climb out of the relegation zone.
“Now we have our fate in our own hands and need to make sure we stay focussed and keep on picking up points in our remaining fixtures,” said Matikinca.
With the exception of defender Mashale Rantabane, who has been allowed leave to attend to his father's funeral, Bucks have a clean bill of health for this game.