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Black Leopards v Bidvest Wits

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Barker: Ol' Dog still got bite?

Barker: Ol' Dog still got bite?

Clive Barker will hope to kickstart his return to the Premiership on a winning note when Bidvest Wits resume their season at Black Leopards on Tuesday.

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Barker last coached on a full-time basis at AmaZulu back in the 2008/09 Premier Soccer League campaign, where he guided Usuthu to an eighth place finish.

The former Bafana Bafana mentor returned to the PSL scene with the Students at the end of 2012 as Antonio Lopez Habbas's successor and inherited a side languishing ninth in the standings.

The Clever Boys last played a competitive match on December 19 against Free State Stars in the PSL, but have been keeping themselves sharp with friendly matches in the last eight weeks of the mid-season break.

Barker is reasonably confident of his starting XI for his side's trip to Polokwane.

"In football you can never be sure (of your starting team) because it is just that type of game," he told Backpage Txt.

"Everything that we have done with the boys so far has been done sensibly and they look sharp with the ball.

"For me the most important thing is that we have players that want to turn up to training. When they come to training (with the right attitude) at least the team has half of a chance.

"The good thing in the team now is that everybody believes that they have a chance to play. That is what I want amongst my players.

"Everybody has a dream that they will be putting on the club jersey. The most challenging part, however, will be motivating the players that don't get a chance to play when the others do."

In team news, former Bafana Bafana defender Thapelo Tshilo could make his Wits debut after joining from National First Division side Jomo Cosmos in January.

Also in line to once again turn out for the Students is Brad Phillips, the defender having been sidelined for the first half of the season due to injury.

Meanwhile, Lidoda Duvha will also begin the second half of the 2012/13 campaign under new management, with Abel Makhubele the club's caretaker coach for the remainder of the season.

Makhubele served as Ian Palmer's assistant prior to the latter's departure two months ago.

The former second-in-command is now charged with improving upon the Limpopo-based outfit's 12th place finish before the festive break.

Leopards, who recently travelled to Tanzania for friendlies against Simba FC and Young Africans, have a fully-fit squad for the midweek clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Posted: 11/02/13 13:41

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