Pitso Mosimane’s diagnosis on Mamelodi Sundowns’ slow start in the Caf Champions League – that his charges have forgotten they are the tournament’s holders – applies to their inconsistent domestic league campaign.
The Brazilians have lost their bullish swagger that saw them demolish everything in their path to win the Absa Premiership in record style last season.
A hectic schedule and a failure to show their ruthless streak has taken the sting out of Sundowns, who have handed the advantage to Bidvest Wits in the race for the coveted trophy.
The Clever Boys are two points ahead, going into their last two games against Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs.
The Brazilians’ remaining matches are against the Team of Choice, Maritzburg United, and Highlands Park.
Sundowns cannot afford any more slip-ups, like they had in the 2-2 draws with Platinum Stars and Baroka FC.
It will not be easy, with two tricky encounters against a rejuvenated Team of Choice, who are fighting for the top eight, and the Lions of the North, who are fighting for their lives.
Tonight, Sundowns take on a Maritzburg United team who has been revitalised under interim coach Fadlu Davids.
Mosimane said: “I think he [Davids] has done well.
“He won three games in a row [the first time in the club’s history] and won the coach of the month for April.
“Maritzburg United played well against Wits. It’s not a team that you can just walk all over,” Mosimane said.
“But at this point in time‚ which team is easy?
“Look at Highlands and how they fought against Chippa.
“You never know what will happen. The results will surprise you.”
For things to end well for Sundowns‚ Wits have to slip-up as the Clever Boys are in the driver’s seat.
The student club dropped points in their 3-1 loss to Free State Stars.
Instead of making up the lost ground‚ Sundowns drew with Baroka FC to return the advantage back to the Clever Boys.
Having failed to win at Atteridgeville in their last three games‚ Mosimane and his Sundowns charges know what they have to do against the Team of Choice tonight. “It’s a must win‚” he said. “If you don’t win that one, forget [about the league].
“If you don’t, then you will hope that others don’t win.
“We must win so that we don’t have to focus on what others must do,” he said.
“Maybe we will be sharper and quicker upfront.
“We lacked teeth and venom against Saint George [in the Champions League]. Nothing!”