DURBAN – Free State Stars are here to stay in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), according to their new boss, Nikola Kavazovic.
Stars got some breathing space following their away 2-1 victory against Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday.
Katlego Mokhuoane and Sinethemba Jantjie netted for Stars while Deolin Mekoa struck for the Team of Choice.
The win propelled Stars to position 13 on the log with 16 points after 17 games.
Speaking with the media after the game, Kavazovic oozed confidence that Stars would survive the chop come the end of the season.
“After those two games (against Bidvest Wits and Maritzburg United) I’m pretty sure that we will avoid that (relegation). I think we can even reach top eight with this quality,” Kavazovic explained.
Stars have struggled this season in the league after an impressive 2017/18 season where they lifted the Nedbank Cup.
“Statistically against Wits we dominated. Against the title winning candidates we had 63% ball possession. We had seven shots on target compared to Wits’ three. They took three shots and scored two. Today’s game was different. There are games where you can do everything but nothing goes your way. After so much domination, I was under the impression that we could have played three days without scoring a goal. But fortunately we succeed,” he added.
Stars are not playing this weekend. They will face Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday in an Absa Premiership tussle.
“We are now going to Cape Town without any pressure. We don’t need points over there. If we take points we would have done a great job because they are in a good shape at the moment. We are going there to enjoy our game. After Cape Town City, we have two games where we have to finish this story about relegation and focus on reaching top eight,” Kavazovic elaborated.
Stars will be eyeing as many points as possible in the next few matches.
“I’ve changed a lot of things. I changed good and bad things. Everything is so far giving good results. I changed the model of play. I also changed the atmosphere in the team. I changed relations between the coach and the players. I changed the relations between the coach and the management. One of the most important things I changed was method of training. I changed it to South Africa’s tactical periodisation,” Kavazovic said.