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Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker understands this truth as his team prepares to face Orlando Pirates in the second leg of the MTN8 semi-final.

Pirates
Deon Hotto and Kgaogelo Sekgota during Stellenbosch FC and Orlando Pirates 2023/2024 Dstv Premiership match at the Danie Craven Stadium.

Despite trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Barker remains unwavering in his belief that his squad can secure a spot in the final.

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Stellies Coach Confidence Of Beating Pirates 

Barker’s confidence stems from the fact that Stellies has already proven their mettle against Pirates earlier in the season, securing both victories and defeats.

As they head to Orlando Stadium, where the challenge is magnified, Barker encourages his players to relish the moment and seize the opportunity.

“We have a chance,” Barker declared to the media.

“We have shown in both games against Pirates that we beat them this season, we also lost 2-1. Obviously [playing] away from home at Orlando Stadium, it’s an even more difficult task.

“We just have to go there and change our mood in terms of enjoying the moment and the opportunity of being in the semi-final.

“Acknowledging the unique pressure of cup competitions, Barker maintains a positive outlook.

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“It’s a different tournament so we can approach it with positivity and we give it our best shot,” he added.

“Should we fail, it won’t be because we have not tried, that I can guarantee you.

“Stranger things have happened, and it’s not impossible for us to get to the final.”

Losing Star Middlefielder 

However, Stellenbosch FC faces the challenge of coping without midfielder Sibongiseni Mthethwa, who recently made the move to Kaizer Chiefs.

Additionally, defender Isamel Olivier will be unavailable due to a red card suspension. Despite these setbacks, Barker sees an opportunity in adversity.

“We need to be positive and look forward to a fantastic opportunity,” Barker explained.

“It’s not every year that you are in the semi-final of a major competition, so we are positive and looking forward to that.

“Sometimes when you sort of have your back against the wall, that’s when you are dangerous.”

Nothing To Lose Against Pirates 

With nothing to lose, Stellenbosch FC’s focus is clear: score two goals to stay in the tie.

The road to the MTN8 final might be challenging, but with Steve Barker’s unwavering optimism and a squad ready to give their all, the Stellies are prepared to defy the odds and potentially secure their place in the championship showdown.

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In football, as Barker reminds us, stranger things have happened, and the magic of the game lies in its unpredictability.

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