University of Johannesburg soccer captain Sphesihle Mbhele has called for a major improvement across the board when his team continue their Varsity Football campaign in Johannesburg on Thursday.

After four rounds the UJ outfit are lying second on the log, three points behind leaders Tshwane University of Technology.

However, in their most recent encounter last week, Mbhele’s team came away with a 2-2 draw against the University of the Western Cape at the UJ Soweto campus and the skipper was disappointed they did not capitalise on their home-ground advantage.

They will resume their programme with another clash at the Soweto venue on Thursday, this time against North-West University.

UJ - Sphesihle Mbhele

University of Johannesburg captain Sphesihle Mbhele (right) battles for possession with Sandile Mdluli of the University of the Western Cape during their Varsity Football match at the UJ Soweto campus on Thursday. Photo: Photoshelter

Mbhele said he would be looking for a much better effort against NWU.

“I was not particularly happy with how we performed in the match against UWC,” he said.

“We will be working hard to improve our game in every department to keep up our challenge to reach the semifinals.”

After conceding an early goal against UWC and trailing 1-0 at halftime, UJ got back into Thursday’s game with an equaliser by Moagi Makhoane.

However, they were in trouble again when UWC took the lead with 20 minutes left. But they saved themselves embarrassment when Preston McKay headed home the second equaliser with five minutes remaining.

It provided one of the few positives of the night for Mbhele.

“While I want to see a big improvement all round, I was encouraged with the way the guys bounced back on Thursday against UWC,” he said.

“Each time we went a goal down we managed to show the character needed to bounce back and find the equaliser.

“So that was a good thing. But we definitely need to show better form against North-West on Thursday.”

The Orange Army will be aiming to consolidate their position on the log after two wins, a draw and a loss so far.

While they are in second position on seven points, there are several teams in hot pursuit, with Central University of Technology just a point behind them.

They are followed by North-West University and Free State, who both have five points, and UWC and UP-Tuks, who have four points.