Clinton Larsen says Golden Arrows are punching above their weight


Arrows, who drew 1-1 with Ajax Cape Town yesterday, are chasing their first top-eight finish since 2008/09 which preceded their 2009 MTN8 triumph.

Abafana Bes'thende surprisingly topped the standings in September, but are now sixth with 31 points from 24 matches.

Larsen's men next host Platinum Stars in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday, having knocked African champions Mamelodi Sundowns out of the competition in the last-16.

"I think the belief in the team is that we are not pushovers and I think we've proved that from day one this season," said Larsen, who was named Coach of the Month for August/September.

"It is the only game that we conceded five goals [against SuperSport United in February], but we've been very competitive in terms of our approach to the games and what we've given to our supporters, and we'll continue to be so.

"As one of the smaller clubs we'll continue punching above our weight and again I say I don't think anyone at the beginning of the season thought that with six games to go Golden Arrows will be sixth in the league standings.

"I'm sure you guys [media] didn't think that too but we proved everybody wrong and we'll continue to fight tooth and nail week-in week-out.

"This was a valuable point [against Ajax] but we'll only see the value of this point at the end of the season, but it was a very valuable point or us."

Meanwhile, Larsen felt former Bafana Bafana midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi made an impact in windy conditions against the Urban Warriors when he replaced Kwanele Hlongwane in the engine room. Larsen also introduced Limbikani Mzava at the expense of Matome Mathiane due to a groin injury.

"They were playing with two tens, [Grant] Margeman, and [Mark] Mayambela were playing in central positions and we needed to have a second central midfielder," Larsen explained.

"So we brought in Dikgacoi and immediately in the first 15/20/25 minutes I thought he made a difference and he made us play.

"He played some telling through balls and it worked in terms of getting somebody to put a foot on the ball. But still we were not clinical in the final ball on the breaks.

"It is something that has let us down this season and we'll continue to work on that area."