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Coach Under Pressure, How Crucial Will The Limpopo Derby Be?

The upcoming match for Polokwane City will be crucial for the club’s head coach Jozef Vukusic in his search for the team's first win of the season.

In their upcoming Absa Premiership match, Rise and Shine are scheduled to take on Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

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Vukusic, who was appointed as the head coach of Rise and Shine in June, has seen his side lose both their matches so far this season, against Black Leopards and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively. The team is yet to score a goal and is currently sitting at the bottom of the log. 

“The pressure is mounting for the Polokwane City coach to lead the team to start winning matches. It might still be early in the season but if the team doesn’t win things won’t look good for him at the club,” said the source.

Rise and Shine had said that with Vukusic’s appointment they wanted to become serious contenders in cup competitions and aim for a top eight finish. 

Meanwhile, Polokwane and Baroka drew both their league matches last season after their first round match ended 0-0, while the second round match finished 1-1. 

Contacted for comment, Rise and Shine’s Media Officer Vusi Ntimane said the Slovakian coach is not under any pressure after a good pre-season with the team.

“The team had a good pre-season with Coach Jozef, and he is not under any pressure. Remember this is a new team with many young players. Look at our game against Mamelodi Sundowns, we had Nicolas ‘Mbazo’ Motloung, age 22 and wearing number 27 at centre back who was our MDC captain last season. Mbulelo ‘Makoroti’ Wagaba, age 20 and wearing number 31, playing on the wing whom we scouted during the ABC Motsepe League play-offs from Buya Msuthu,” said Ntimane.

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“The way we played those two games, we think the team is on right track and you can see with the chances we had that it’s only a matter of time before we start winning games,” he added. 

“Looking at the next game against Baroka, you know what the derby does to players. Everyone is always motivated and we know what is at stake – the bragging rights. Losing our first two games was only a wakeup call. You don’t want to win the first five games and for players to start to develop unnecessary pride only to lose the next five games. What we know is that people must brace themselves for an entertaining Saturday afternoon as we will be showing what we are made of. It is a six-pointer game and at the end of the game Polokwane City will be rising and shining,” concluded the club’s mouthpiece.     

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