Wits will be a stern test for SundownsComment on this story
Johannesburg – With his team looking to build on last season's impressive Premiership finish, Onismor Bhasera says Wits have a hunger to climb as high up the league table as possible, with the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns only serving a further motivation.
Wits host Sundowns in a crucial league encounter in Johannesburg on Saturday evening, with the outcome set to have massive implications on the rest of the division.
Currently fourth in the standings, after ending last season in the same position, Wits have an opportunity of climbing a place to third, while Sundowns play their last remaining game-in-hand over log-leading Kaizer Chiefs.
“We’re going to take the matches as they come. We have to go out there and work as a team, we grind, we show commitment and at the end of the day we must do the job,” Bhasera, who will miss the fixture due to suspension, said ahead of the game.
“People say that we’re title contenders but we’re just working as a team. We have that winning mentality, we keep on grinding and we just want to take each game as it comes.
“We don’t want to raise our hopes high, things will take care of themselves. By the end of the season, we’ll see where we will be.”
Chiefs sit pretty at the top of the table with a nine point lead over Sundowns, while the Clever Boys trail by 12, but could cut that deficit down to six should they win their games-in-hand.
A disappointed Bhasera was shown a straight red card by controversial referee Victor Gomes on Wednesday, ruling the defender out of Saturday's all-important fixture.
The Zimbabwean, however, said he accepted his dismissal in Wits' midweek victory over SuperSport United, in what looked like a harsh decision against the left-back.
Bhasera appeared to have slipped before going in for a tackle, resulting in both his feet showing skyward, prompting Gomes to eject the defender for a two-footed tackle.
“What’s done is done. As a player, I don’t think there is any player who has been given a red card and raises his hand to say, 'yes that was a red card, I’m gone',” Bhasera said.
“But it’s done, it’s water under the bridge and I’m looking forward to being back. A big game indeed and obviously I’m going to be sitting out, which as a player, those are the types of games you want to play.
“But unfortunately that’s the name of the game and I’m out. The boys who are there are capable of doing the job.”
Shifting his attention to one of the team's leading stars, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Bhasera was full of praise for the midfielder, whose stunning hat-trick earned Wits Wednesday's 3-2 win.
“He’s playing very well and we’re very happy that he’s peaking at the right time. His performance… we need it as a team,” Bhasera said.
“He works very hard at the training ground, hence you see his performance in each game, so we’re very happy to have him.”
In Saturday's other games, Golden Arrows welcome the University of Pretoria to the King Zwelithini Stadium, while Orlando Pirates host Free State Stars in Soweto after Wits' clash with Sundowns.
On Sunday, Bloemfontein Celtic and Mpumalanga Black Aces square-off at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium in the only match of the day. – Sapa