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I’ll do Mahlambi’s dirty work for him – Keene

Bidvest Wits forward James Keene said his team need to have Phakamani Mahlambi fit and firing on all cylinders if they are to sustain their challenge for the league.

The two contrasting but highly effective forwards missed large chunks of last season with knee injuries and with their impediments‚ so died Wits’ chance of challenging Mamelodi Sundowns for the league.

They both contributed goals in Tuesday night’s 5-0 hammering of Ajax Cape Town at Bidvest Stadium with Mahlambi being man-of-the-match. Hellings “Gabadinho” Mhango also provided a late brace as Wits continued their formidable home form.

“Phakamani and I complement each other very well. I’ll do his dirty work and he can carry on and score the goals. That’s fantastic and I’m happy to do that. He’s a young and special talent and you would have seen in this game how much talent Phakamani has. He’s hard to defend against and he’s going to be a very good player‚” Keene said.

“He’s a raw talent and the coach handles him very well. Gavin understands Phakamani and he lets him to his thing. I just stand and do the dirty work because not many people are going to catch him. He’s that fast. When he’s running down the wing‚ I struggle to get to the box with him but he’s a fantastic player.”

Keene doesn’t want their Ajax success to go to their heads‚ especially in the light of the tough league and continental schedule ahead of them.

They have league games against Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns alongside a CAF Champions League clash against Saint Louisienne in Reunion on Saturday.

Keene is focussed on the immediate factor that is their continental engagements and being a first time participant in the club continental showpiece‚ Keene wants to stamp his authority.

“It’s exciting for us to be in the Champions League and that’s a tournament we want to go far in. You need a squad to do so and I think we have that squad to cope with those demands. The coach manages the players very well and there are a lot of games coming up. We want to go a long way in the tournament and I’m very excited to be part of this journey‚” Keene said.

“We want to fly the flag very high for South African football. We are representing South Africa as a whole and we want to do that properly and do well. You can’t take the competition very lightly because there are tough teams and tough places to travel to.”