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Football | Absa Premiership

Clive Barker © Backpagepix

This is our cup final - Barker



Wits coach Clive Barker says his side's Absa Premiership match against Moroka Swallows on Friday will be like a cup final for the Clever Boys.

The Students travel to Dobsonville to take on the Birds, who are in search of their fourth straight league win, and Barker said ahead of the clash his charges would be focussed on getting three points away from home to move up the table.

“It's the biggest game of our careers,” Barker said.

“This is the one we have to put away. This is the one against Swallows.”

Wits have a young squad at their disposal, while Swallows have valuable experience under the guidance of coach Zeca Marques.

“We understand the quality that they have, the fantastic big name players,” Barker said.

“It's always been good to play against them over my last 35 years in football.

"It's going to be a big game – in fact for us, it's going to be our cup final.”

With three games in six days, the former Bafana Bafana coach expected a stern test against the Soweto side.

“It's going to be a tough one on Friday and the players will be feeling it," he said.

"When you play three games in seven or six days, it's a lot.”

Though Wits managed only a goalless draw at home in their previous league game on Tuesday, against SuperSport United, they moved up to fourth in the table.

Since Barker has taken the reins, Wits have improved their form, but the experienced coach said he had little to prove.

“Have I still got to show what I can do? Shall I go out there and have to prove it now? No, I don't think so," he said.

“I'm enjoying every minute of it, it's been fantastic and I think the results have been very, very good. Four wins and two draws in the last six matches – that's been really good.”

Nine points adrift of Platinum Stars, who are in third place, Barker believed a climb up the table was well within his side's reach.

“I'd be disappointed if we didn't finish in the first three.”

Weekend Premiership fixtures: Friday: Moroka Swallows v Bidvest Wits (Dobsonville Stadium).

Saturday: Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs (Moses Mabhida Stadium), Platinum Stars v Black Leopards (Royal Bafokeng Stadium), University of Pretoria v AmaZulu (Tuks Stadium).

Sunday: Ajax Cape Town v Free State Stars (Athlone Stadium), Bloemfontein Celtic v Maritzburg United (Free State Stadium).

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