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Spurs hoping to strike early against La Masia

Cape Town Spurs will be targeting back-to-back home wins in the Motsepe Foundation Championship when NB La Masia visit Athlone Stadium on Monday afternoon (3.30pm kick-off).

The Urban Warriors were held to a goalless draw by All Stars in Pretoria on Wednesday to go three games undefeated in the league with a second successive point on the road.

Shaun Bartlett’s side had beaten Polokwane City 2-0 in the Mother City five days earlier and are seeking a third clean sheet in a row against the ABC Motsepe League playoff winners.

Spurs (11th) have a chance to climb above La Masia, who occupy ninth place after registering consecutive victories over Venda Football Academy and Casric Stars.

The coach felt that Rise And Shine were there for the taking last time out and has called on his players to be more ruthless in attack so as to avoid a repeat of last season when the team drew far too many games.

“Going into the All Stars game last Wednesday on the back of beating Polokwane City, we had a bit of confidence,” Shaun said in his preview on Monday’s encounter. “We knew exactly what we wanted from that particular game and we said to the players even though they’re no longer called Cape Town All Stars I still felt it was a derby because most of the players were still there from last season.

“So we knew it was going to be a tough time. I think the turnaround time for both teams was obviously quite hectic and we could see that in the first 45 minutes both teams were quite flat, the intensity wasn’t that high.

“But I think we created enough opportunities to possibly have won the game but then again Lincoln [Vyver] had to make one or two good saves to keep us in the game. Overall we had the upper hand.

“The clean sheet is always a big positive for us, but we have expressed to the players that we need to do a bit more because we do not want to repeat the same trend we had last season of drawing too many games.

“Last season we drew 15 out of the 30 games and that was way too many if we want to compete for the title. We’ve said to the players come next few games we’ve got to do a little bit more and be more clinical in the final third and convert our chances.

“La Masia will be another tough game, it’s a team that is also on the up. Being a newly-promoted team, [we’re] not very familiar with a lot of the opposition so we’ve tried to get as much footage as possible.

“They’ve also got some decent players that they’ve brought into their stable, like [Mogamat] May from Cape Town City and Yusuf Jappie. These guys have played at the highest level for quite some time.

“So we know it’s going to be another tough game, but like we indicated again, home games are going to be vital for us to get maximum points if we want to close the gap to the top three, top four and stay as close as possible going into the Christmas break.

“We’ve got to continue the hard work and if we can get one or two goals early in the game it always eases the pressure so that’s what we’re hoping for come Monday.”