Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
4 May 2017
9:42 am

Wits target Pirates scalp

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs says the Clever Boys are simply concentrating on their own job, as they aim to lift the Absa Premiership crown for the first time.

Moeneeb Josephs (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

With five games left to play Wits have a one-point lead at the top over Mamelodi Sundowns after beating them 1-0 on Monday night, and now have another tough game against Orlando Pirates to negotiate this evening at Bidvest Stadium.

“All we need to do is focus on what we need to do, that is the big game where we have to face Pirates. They are also on a good run. The three points are important, and nothing else,” said Josephs after the Sundowns game.

Wits bounced back from a loss to SuperSport United to win at Highlands Park and then take down their title rivals, and Josephs added that the side have learned from last season, when they rather fell away in the title race.

“I was glad the knock came at that time (against SuperSport),” added Josephs.

“It woke us up, our response was a win against Highlands and a win here tonight … we have the experience of throwing it away last year and learned a lot.”

While their peers in the top four (Wits, Sundowns, Cape Town City and Kaizer Chiefs) are on a quest to clinch Absa Premiership, Orlando Pirates skipper Oupa Manyisa and his team-mates have a rather different mission – to maintain the Buccaneers’ top eight position by the end of the season.

Pirates’ poor run this campaign is evidenced by the fact that they reached the top half of the table for the first time this season following a 2-1 win over Chippa United on Saturday – they are currently eighth, with 31 points.

The Buccaneers are left with only five games before their league campaign is complete, but face some serious challenge, particularly in their next two fixtures where they will come up against Wits this evening and Sundowns on Sunday.

Going into today’s game, skipper Oupa Manyisa knows that the result can affect the race for the title, but he says that is not on their mind.

“We are not going there to do anybody a favour. We are fighting to get three points and our mission is to ensure that we make the top eight at the end of the season,” said Manyisa.

Pirates have already lost twice to Wits this season, in the league and the MTN8. The team’s recent form, which even sees them in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup, has given the skipper hope of ending the 2016/2017 campaign on a positive note.