Steve Barker: We stuck to the game plan

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The host made the champions sweat for the point after going in at halftime ahead before Lyle Lakay rescued a point for the all-conquering Tshwane giants.

“Obviously, the conditions didn’t make it easy for either team but I thought structurally and tactically. I thought we set-up really well. We defended sort of narrow, didn’t allow them the pockets of spaces that they pride on,” Barker told SuperSport TV.

“So we forced a lot of the balls out wide first half and we didn’t really give them that many opportunities, they looked a bit dangerous on one or two set-plays from Lakay and we looked dangerous on transition.

“Exactly the way we thought things would happen with their fullbacks getting high maybe we could get Ashley (Du Preez) in behind. We created a one v one which led to the penalty.

“And then the second half obviously the wind favoured them a bit more and I think a lot of pressure kept on building and obviously a great strike from Lakay.

“But all in all, I just think it was a really good team effort, stuck to the game plan, great commitment from the players, great attitude from the players and I think a well-deserved point,” he added.

There were two debutants for Stellies much to the pleasing of Barker, who believes the way they set-up didn’t affect their approach at all.

“I think our principle with the way we look at things doesn’t change much, but you know to give Athenkosi (Mcaba) a debut for me was really superb. A lot of good things for him to come," he added.

“Solomon Letsoenyo the left-back applied himself really well. All in all, pleased yes we knew we needed a little bit of front-foot play if they did play into the pockets.

“So, the left and right centre-backs needed to come in and apply pressure which I thought they did really well so for me a good performance from the lads.

“It’s important that we continue and take this to the next games. Important that Wednesday at home against SuperSport (United) we apply ourselves again but hopefully with the weather conditions we can play a little bit more."