This season no team has held the top office more than Wits since its commencement in August. That was expected considering that the Clever Boys were not competing in the first domestic cup competition, the MTN8, and had a bye in continental duty after finishing 13th in the last campaign.
They had a bright start, bagging 12 points out of the first 15 - which included away victories over Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. But that foundation crumbled at a place that was supposed to be their fortress. At Bidvest, Chiefs and Pirates avenged those defeats, while the Clever Boys also squandered leads against Golden Arrows, Bloemfontein Celtic, Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns.
“For us, at home, it has been really bad,” Wits coach Gavin Hunt admitted. “It (the home form) costs us the league (so far). We should have won it by a country mile but our home form has just cost us.
"I think it’s five games at home where we’ve been one or two nil up but we lost or drew the games and those points would have won us the league, already. So, it’s disappointing but we are still mathematically there and anything can still happen.”
The Clever Boys are still in the championship race but they are third-best in the permutations. Wits are third on the log standings, six points behind pacesetters Pirates and three behind Sundowns, while they still have a game in hand. If the trio win their remaining matches, Wits will amass 56 points, while Pirates and Sundowns will be on 59 - their fate decided on goal difference.
The Brazilians, however, are still in hot water. A pending Wayne Arendse disciplinary case could see them docked at least two points, which could go to the Clever Boys. Considering how unpredictable the sport is, it’s justifiable for Hunt to dare to dream.
‘We’ve got to keep going. There’s three games left and anything can still happen,” he said. “We are disappointed because we should have been in a better position. But all in all, we’ll go and live another day and keep fighting. To be fair, we’ve built another team this season, maybe we need to be patient but we’ll need to keep fighting.”
Wits’ test of character to maintain a winning momentum in the last three matches won’t come as surreal as meeting SuperSport United in their next assignment this afternoon (6pm) at Mbombela Stadium - a venue the latter has made their fortress against Joburg teams.
SuperSport won’t be walkovers even though they crashed out of the title race this week following a 2-0 loss at AmaZulu. Hunt, the only PSL coach to win three successive Premiership titles, with SuperSport, is aware that points dropped widens the gap.
"Every game is tough. But we need to win three games in a row to come into consideration (for the title),” he stated.@MihlaliBaleka