DURBAN – Sitting at the bottom of the PSL table with one third of the season concluded, this weekend’s Telkom Knockout final could provide the spark that defending league champions Wits need to get their campaign on track.
Wits head into the final against Bloemfontein Celtic at KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium following a bleak start.
They have won twice, drawn thrice, and lost six times in the league. The Students have also failed to hit the target in four of their last five matches in the league.
Responding to criticism about the defending champions’ poor form, captain Bongani Khumalo said they couldn’t hide from the statistics, but was optimistic that their league form would improve after the Cup final.
“We can understand where it’s coming from, but at the moment, the fact is that we are in a Cup final.
“It’s a great opportunity for the club to once again be a part of history and add one more trophy to the couple we won last season,” Khumalo said.
“From there, we go on and focus on the league and make sure we get the points needed to start moving in the right direction.
“It has been an undesirable start to the league which is not good, and the league table doesn’t lie. It is happening, and we need to make sure we improve and move forward.”
The former Bafana Bafana skipper said the fact that the Clever Boys were reigning league champions ensured that teams lifted their games against Wits.
“When you play as champions, it’s completely different. You have to work two or three times harder than before,” Khumalo said.
“Sometimes the ball doesn’t really bounce for you that well and you get decisions that go against you.
“A lot of factors change, and every team want to beat you. If teams get hammered before they play us, then when they play us, it becomes like a Champions League final.”
Khumalo knows all about that, having also won the league with coach Gavin Hunt at former club SuperSport United.
“That is to be expected. We do have a lot of young players, and experienced players such as myself should obviously know better about what to expect, and it’s up to us to share that information.
“But the young players have also had a feel of what it is, so there’s not much to be said besides the fact that it’s time to start getting points,” he said.
“As players, we don’t want to be in that position. If you look at the log, it’s nothing to be proud of. I am a champion, and I don’t like seeing where the club is at the moment at all.”