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DIKWENA EAGER TO WIN THE BATTLE OF STARS
DIKWENA EAGER TO WIN THE BATTLE OF STARS
Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson says there’s still more to fight for in the remaining matches.

The race for the championship is over with Mamelodi Sundowns winning the 2015/16 Absa Premiership title but Johnson tells Platinumstars.com that the fight continues for Dikwena.

“We congratulate Sundowns for winning the league. Well done to them but we are still fighting and pushing for a third place finish which will guarantee us a place in continental football,” said Johnson, whose men take on Free State Stars at Goble Park in Bethlehem this Saturday afternoon.

Three points for Dikwena will go a long way in ensuring that the Rustenburg based side maintains their position on the Absa Premiership standings, where they are third with 46 points with Kaizer Chiefs and Mpumalanga Black Aces breathing down their neck on fourth and fifth place respectively. Chiefs trail Dikwena by a point and Aces by three points. The team that finishes third will qualify to play in the next edition of the CAF Confederation Cup.

“With the race for third place finish you can’t rule out Chiefs and Aces. We have performed well this season for a very long time. We blended the team very well with experienced players and youngsters. We also played the brand of football that we like in some moments. The race is still on. It’s difficult to play at Goble Park. We are going there for a win and if not we should maybe come back with a point. We want three points. Stars know that the fight is still on. So it won’t be easy for us,” said Johnson.

“We have to push as hard as we can so that we can get three points against Stars. They beat us 2-1 at home in the first leg after scoring a last minute penalty. We are looking for revenge. We also want to maintain a level of consistency in the league even though the league is already won.”

Dikwena will surely not have it easy as Stars, who are on position 11 on the log, will also be fighting for a place in the top eight. Stars are also in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup. Will they prioritize the league or the cup in these closing stages of the season?

“Stars’ position is safe in the league and they are in the semifinal of the Nedbank Cup. I don’t think they will be thinking of prioritizing the cup though. If they do that, it will be good for us,” said Johnson.

Johnson is likely to persist with giving youngsters a chance to play even in these remaining matches. In the last two matches, Johnson threw in Thamsanqa Gwabeni, Michael Mabule and Kobamelo Kodisang.

“This is the team for the future. You can’t go wrong with the next generation. You have to give them a chance and hope. While you are trying to be consistent with team selection in terms of having experienced players, you also need the youngsters. When you give them a chance to play, you are giving them hope and they know that next season ‘I have a chance to play more if I work hard’. That’s what we are trying to do with Thami, Mike, Kodisang and other youngsters,” said Stars’ former head of youth.

Kickoff is at 3pm.

Posted: 07-05-2016
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