Too early to get excited — De Sa

2008-09-30 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Wits may be top of the Premiership with an unbeaten record, but Students’ coach Roger de Sa is not getting carried away.

Wits face a test of character when they meet Platinum Stars in what promises to be a keenly fought Premiership showdown at Rustenburg’s Olympia Park tonight. Kick-off is at 7.30 pm.

“It is much too early in the season to read too much into our early form,” said De Sa. “But one thing is for sure, I would rather be at the top than at the bottom after three matches. But I rate Stars and their coach Miguel Gamondi highly. They always give us a hard time and they will again prove to be difficult opponents.”

Wits have beaten Santos, Free State Stars and drawn away to Orlando Pirates, who are propping up the table with one point and no goals.

The Students are top of the table with seven points from three matches, while Stars have four points.

Stars have had a more difficult three games, having beaten AmaZulu away, lost at home to champions SuperSport United and then earned a credible away draw against Golden Arrows at the weekend.

The Wits coach said he has three or four players injured who will face late fitness tests. He is hoping his Brazilian imported midfielder, David, will make his PSL debut alongside his countryman Fabricio, who both joined Wits in the off-season. David injured his ankle in the pre-season King’s Cup tournament in Durban.

“David faces a late fitness test. I am hoping he will pass fit and give me more options in the middle of the park. There are others who were in the side that beat Free State Stars who could be missing. David is, like Fabricio, an exciting midfielder who could set things up for us this season.”

Also returning after missing the FS Stars match through injury is young left-back Patrick Phungwayo, who will add steel to a defence that has yet to concede a goal in a competitive match this season.

“Obviously we want to keep the goals against at zero for as long as possible,” said De Sa.

“I am very pleased about how solid we have been defensively.”

But the Wits defence faces a stern test against the likes of Stars ace striker Simba Marumo, Henrico Botes and their South American striker, Luis Renteria.

Bloemfontein Celtic, who collected their first point of the season in their home 0-0 draw against unbeaten Maritzburg United at the weekend, face another tough hurdle when they travel to the Athlone Stadium to play Ajax Cape Town in tonight’s other fixture.

Celtic, under new coach Mich D’Avray, have got off to a slow start, but are gaining momentum. Ajax were unlucky to go down 2-0 against Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus last Saturday and they will be keen to get back on to the winning trail.

The danger men for Celtic are Ajax striker Mabhudi Khenyeza, who missed a number of easy chances against his old club Amakhosi.

He will be out to make amends and he can expect solid support from the likes of Sifiso Vilakazi, Scott Granwald and Sameehg Doutie. Kick-off is also at 7.30 pm.

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