SportPesa Clubhouse column ambassador, Doctor Khumalo talks about how important it is get a solid start to the season...unless you're Mamelodi Sundowns.
"I hope everyone enjoyed the opening week of the 2019/2020 Absa Premiership season. A few weeks ago, we spoke about the new signings that would be unveiled, changes and new things happening at different clubs and now is the time to see how those changes will affect the teams.
"Before we go into details about what transpires mostly in the championship race, I see a lot of teams have managed to get a good start by winning their opening games. That’s very crucial because winning your first three games sets you up for a great start. History will tell you that, come the end of the season, it is usually the points that we lost at the beginning of the season that determine your destiny. When you start with winning, say you dominate the first round by collecting as many points as possible, it becomes difficult for the rest to catch up with you. All the coaches I have worked with would always emphasise the importance of winning the first three games of the season. If you don’t understand the value of three points, lost at the beginning of the season, just look at the relegation dogfight towards the end of the season and the difference three points make in keeping your team afloat.
"When you look at Mamelodi Sundowns, for instance, you will notice that they seldom have a good start to the season. They always peak towards the end of the campaign and that’s mainly because, until this season, they’ve not had a proper pre-season thanks to their CAF Champions League participation. You hardly see them sitting on top of the log early on in the season as they come from behind to snatch it. For that, you have to give credit to coach Pitso Mosimane and his technical team, not forgetting the players and supporters. While Sundowns have been peaking towards the end, most teams seem to lapse at that crucial stage and lose ground."