Absa Premiership

Wits wow to hunt Chiefs down

2014-12-22 11:32
Thulani Hlatshwayo (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Despite trailing log leaders Kaizer Chiefs by 15 points, Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo is keeping the faith as he believed the pace-setters could be caught next year.

"For us we need to take each game at a time and try to catch Chiefs because we believe fatigue will catch up with them and we hope we will be there to take advantage," Hlatshwayo said.

"I think Chiefs have done well so far they have been unbeaten and they even beat us. What we have to do is focus on ourselves."

In their final match of the year, Gavin Hunt's men were held to a goalless draw by perennial rivals the University of Pretoria at the Tuks Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The match brought to a conclusion a first-half of the season that was characterised by inconsistencies in performances from title challengers Wits.

The university challengers go into the Christmas break with a record of nine wins, five losses and four draws.

Both on 31 points, Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits lead the chasing pack in second and third position on the log.

The Bafana Bafana international defender said a change in mind-set was needed if they were to usurp Chiefs to the finishing line in 2015.

"Our aim was to end the year second on the table but we will accept the third position. Next year we need to work even harder and carry on from where we left-off.

"We will be working hard during the break to ensure that we come back strong next year."

This season has been a season like no-other for AmaTuks in the Premiership – with the team holding on for dear life above the relegation zone.

To make matters worse the club saw coach Steve Barker abruptly abandon ship to join AmaZulu in the middle of the campaign.

In their quest to thrive in the league, new coach Sammy Troughton said next year they would throw caution to the wind.

"It's been tough. There is one team at the top running way with the league. We have to show more bravery. We have to try to win as many games as possible," Troughton said.

With four wins, seven draws and six losses AmaTuks have ensured that they end the year in position 12.

However there was some discomfort in their position as with 19 points, AmaTuks are only two points adrift of Platinum Stars in the relegation zone.

Although AmaTuks have been able to hold their own against top opposition, it was the unfancied teams that were hard to overcome.

"Our problem has been against the lower teams. Among the top sides that we have played it's only Chiefs that have beaten us.

"We have to beat the teams that are in and around the bottom half of the table."

It was contrasting objectives for the university clubs as Wits vowed to chase Chiefs down for the title while AmaTuks aim to keep afloat from relegation.

 

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Fixtures
Friday, 22 February 2019
Chippa United v Golden Arrows, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Cape Town City v Maritzburg United, Athlone Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Kaizer Chiefs, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United v Baroka FC, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v AmaZulu, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Bloemfontein Celtic v Free State Stars, Dr Molemela Stadium 15:30
Black Leopards v Highlands Park, Thohoyandou Stadium 15:30
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