Pirates upbeat going into Wits clash

2012-04-20 09:27

Orlando Pirates’ No 1 goalie Moeneeb “Slimkat” Josephs admits they need to take their chances in front of goal, but are confident ahead of their Absa Premiership match against Bidvest Wits tomorrow evening.

The match is scheduled to take place at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Kick-off is at 20:15pm.

The Buccaneers claimed the top spot on Wednesday evening despite a disappointing draw against Moroka Swallows.

But a loss by Mamelodi Sundowns on the same evening allowed them to overtake the Brazilians at the top of the 16-team log table by a single point.

Pirates now sit on 47 points closely followed by Downs and Swallows in third on 43 points.

Still, the Buccaneers’ margin at the top of the table could have been larger if they had taken their numerous chances in front of goal against the Dube Birds on Wednesday.

But speaking to Josephs, despite the club hitting the woodwork three times on the night, he suggests they could have played for three more weeks and not scored against their Soweto rivals.

“It just wasn’t our night to get the goals. We could have played for three more weeks and wouldn’t have scored a goal.

“But we got the point and it is a point that is key. We just have to go to the next game and see what we can get out of that one,” said Bafana Bafana No 2.

Pirates’ next fixture is against a struggling Wits side who have only managed to secure a point in their last six league outings, which included a run of five defeats in a row.

Wits secured their only point since the beginning of March in a 1-1 draw with Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday evening, but that was also a little fortuitous after a second half goal from Timothy Batabaire secured them the draw.

Nonetheless, Josephs says Pirates are not taking The Clever Boys for granted, but are still buoyant going into the match and asks the crowd at Orlando Stadium to get behind them.

“What we do have is confidence and confidence for our next game. We (are) playing well tactically and we (are) playing really, really well on the pitch. We (are) confident and we want the three points against Wits.

“The crowd is key, we need them. When the morale is going down it is good to get them going and it lets us players know they are right behind us. It just gives us that bit of extra vigour knowing they are behind us,” said the shot-stopper.

One team that have been lacking confidence this season (2011/12), or at least this year, is Wits who are yet to win a league match this year and are presently 13th on the log only seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Head coach Roger de Sa puts his team’s poor performance this year down to inexperience, but still believes one win will put them back on track. He believes his youngsters are capable of achieving that.

“This season we had a great start and a great first half and I knew we did enough to be safe. But this is what happens when you have such a young squad.

“If you look at the first half of the match against Ajax, it was like two teams playing not to lose rather than playing for a win. Our players were afraid of losing.

“Overall, the silly goals we have conceded have been costing us vital points. I am happy with the youngsters; they have guts and they managed to fight back after conceding an early goal,” said De Sa.

– Sport24

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