Thulani Hlatshwayo confident of Bidvest Wits' title chances
Posted: 11 April 2017 Time: 09:55
Bidvest Wits skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo believes the key to their hopes of going one better than last season is managing injuries at this crucial stage of the campaign.
The Clever Boys are yet again in the running for their maiden Absa Premiership title, hoping to improve on their third-place finish in 2014/15 and their runners-up finish last season.
With 10 games to go, and matches coming in thick and fast, Wits have already shown their intentions to focus solely on the league after getting knocked out of the Nedbank Cup with a second-string side, as well as fielding an under-strength outfit in their CAF Confederation Cup play-off first leg on Saturday.
“The difference is just the injuries. [A few guys], including myself, were injured and couldn’t end the season last year. This time around we still have a few injuries, but they are manageable,” says Hlatshwayo with great optimism.
“The guys are all fit. This time last year we started to drop and, though we didn’t start the second half of the season well this year, everyone is amped now.”
The Braamfontein-based side welcome Golden Arrows at the Bidvest Stadium this evening, wary of a team that have just come off the back of a morale-boosting cup win over Mamelodi Sundowns on the weekend.
“It’s an important game, we know what kind of a team we are up against,” adds ’Tyson’. "We know they won their game against Sundowns so they will come motivated to face us.
“Also, knowing that we just played against [Smouha] from Egypt on Saturday, there are a lot of guys that were rested, including myself, so we should be fresh for tonight’s game.”
With their title rivals Downs having slipped up in their recent catch-up fixtures, the burly 27-year-old defender is mindful of the potential banana-skin in counting their games in hand as an advantage.
“It’s a lesson that games in hand are not points in hand,” he emphasises. "We need to make sure that, even though we are at the top [of the log], we don’t think that ‘oh, we still have games in hand so we’ll be ahead with more points’.
"We still have to play and work hard for those points. An advantage is that we have a lot of games at home so we need to make sure no one comes to us and takes points. We need to get the results at home.”
Kick-off of tonight’s clash is scheduled for 19h30.