Newly-promoted University of Pretoria should be happy with earning another point and extending their unbeaten run to five matches, according to soccer coach Steve Barker.
|Steve Barker © Backpagepix
"It was a battling performance of good character. Overall, we have to take every point we can in this league. It's a tough league and once again a well earned point," Barker said after his side played to a goalless draw at home to Platinum Stars in a Premiership clash on Tuesday evening.
"They had one or two good chances. We had one some half chances, but to take the positives out of the game, once again a clean sheet at home.
"It was a difficult match. I don't think we were at our best this evening, especially in the first half.
"We gave the ball away too much. We just didn't have enough fluidity in our play."
AmaTuks have made a solid start to their first ever season in South Africa's top-flight, claiming two wins and three draws on the way to nine points from their first five fixtures.
The University side find themselves in fourth, after another productive evening in the nation's capital, leaving Barker satisfied with his side's performance against a Stars outfit desperate for a win off the back of three straight league defeats.
"In the second half, I think in the first 25 to 30 minutes, we created a couple of chances and in the last 20 minutes the game seemed to open up and either side at the end of the day could have won it," he said.
Barker is the nephew of former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker.
"We are still a team that is young in age, a team that's getting to know each other.
"There are a lot of new players so we haven't been able to really hit our straps yet, but as long as we keep trying and battling away, that's all we can ask.
"I'm surprised in that we've been able to remain in five games, having so many new players making their debuts in the Premiership."
While the university side are flying high, Stars were left languishing in 13th in the log standings – only two points clear of the relegation zone – having won only one of their five ties.
Barker praised the University of Pretoria's structures and said a solid foundation put in place by the institution allowed the team to benefit and develop into a formidable outfit going forward.
"I believe that we do our things professionally, we are well-organised, well-prepared and we have good facilities," he said.
"We have good structure, good support from management and a wonderful stadium, so we have a lot of things going for us.
"We must never forget that it's our first season in a tough league and in these type of games, you don't want to be too opportunistic or too daring because you might end up losing the game."
Meanwhile, in the night's other results, newly-appointed coach Roger De Sa bagged his second win as Orlando Pirates boss with a 2-0 victory at the Orlando Stadium, to move his side up to second in the table, three points behind fellow Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs.
In the only other fixture, Maritzburg United earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Black Leopards in Polokwane to remain unbeaten, but dropped to third in the league standings, behind Pirates who claimed their third win of the season.