Moeneeb Josephs believes Wits can win the PSL this season. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - Moeneeb Josephs tends to exaggerate, but the Bidvest Wits goalkeeper didn’t necessarily go over the top when he described his side’s Absa Premiership clash against Orlando Pirates tonight as “the game of our lives”.

The Clever Boys went top of the log on Monday following a 1-0 victory over defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who were sitting at the summit prior to kick-off.

It’s on the back of that important win that Josephs felt facing what many feel is an improving Pirates team would go some way in determining their fate in the title race.

“You know what, the three points against Sundowns, who are the champions of Africa, were massive,” said Josephs.

“But the Pirates game is an even bigger game for us. I think it will be a humdinger because they are on a bit of a good run. It will be the game of our lives, but these are the kind of games you want to be playing in.”

It won’t be overstating to again claim Wits’ remaining five matches in the league will carry a similar theme - for the first time in the club’s history, the championship is almost at their doorstep.

But there are serious hurdles before they can get to it.

“I’d say it is a bit easier for us as players to be motivated when we come up against the big boys like Sundowns and Pirates. In South African football you get this phenomenon that when you play against the so-called smaller sides you need extra motivation, but that is not so much the case against the big boys.

“And tactically, the game is a little better as well, hence we look forward to those,” the former Pirates goalkeeper explained.

It was while with the Buccaneers that Josephs, 36, won two league titles and it is perhaps no surprise that Wits coach Gavin Hunt has decided to probably see off the rest of the season with him between the sticks instead of Darren Keet, whose arrival at the beginning of the campaign relegated Josephs to the bench.

Despite being a bit of a wild character on and off the pitch, Josephs knows when it’s time to be serious, and he agreed with the assertion that his experience should be one of Wits’ secret weapons in trying to maintain their lead at the top.

“We have to remain calm because you could say it is still anybody’s game (there’s only a point difference between Wits, Sundowns and Cape Town City, who have played one game more). As long as we focus on our games, do what we have to do, pick up points we need to be picking up, we stand a good chance because it is in our hands,” he said.

On concerns that the Clever Boys have never been steely enough in the past two seasons to force the title race right down to the wire, Josephs said he strongly believed the team’s overall character was a lot better this time around.

“I am glad we lost to SuperSport United last week while we still had two games in hand, because then we could show our character,” the goalie said.

“We responded by winning against Highlands Park and Sundowns. There are a lot of doubters, and if you look around, nobody has really been giving us a chance to win anything.

“With the experience of last year, throwing it away towards the end, we have learnt a lot and the experienced players are here to guide the younger ones.”


The Star

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