Wits to 'rest' booked players
Johannesburg - Bidvest Wits coach Roger de Sa has decided to "rest" seven of his players with yellow cards for Saturday's PSL game against improving Golden Arrows.
But it is not a case of the engaging De Sa attempting to put the players on probation because of their disciplinary indiscretions.
On the contrary, the Wits coach has decided not to field the nucleus of his regular team against Arrows at the Bidvest Stadium.
This was to ensure they do not receive further yellow cards and consequently earn a suspension, preventing them from playing in the Telkom Cup Final against Orlando Pirates at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban next Saturday.
"Players are getting yellow-carded ad nauseum in the PSL right now," said De Sa.
"I simply can't take the chance of one, two or more key players not being eligible for a game as important as the Telkom Final - particularly when there have been some strange yellow cards meted out to players who did not deserve them."
This did not mean the team would not be committed to beating Arrows and continuing its improvement on the Premier League table.
As for the final against Pirates, De Sa said he found it a little curious that it had been decided to take the final to Durban.
"We all know that Pirates, while regarding Orlando Stadium as their home base, also look on Durban as a home-from-home," added the Wits coach, "and they relish playing in the KwaZulu environment."
De Sa said Wits were not going to spend time agonising over the Durban venue, were dedicated and were working hard to repeat the form that gave them an emphatic 3-1 Premier League win over the Buccaneers last week.
Unlike the line-up that will take the field against Arrows on Saturday, De Sa said he hoped to field a full-strength team against Pirates in Durban.
As for the recent outburst by former Bafana Bafana top scorer and Pirates striker Benni McCarthy, who claimed the Wits players had become too cocky and he intended to teach them a lesson in the Cup Final, De Sa said: "Well that's Benni.
"Everyone knows that if any player is cocky in the PSL, it is Benni himself. But we are not taking his outburst too seriously because Benni will be Benni.
"And we have got our feet planted firmly on the ground and are not underestimating Pirates either."
McCarthy missed the recent game between the students and the Buccaneers because of a suspension.