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Is Pitso Really Not Under Pressure?

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Pitso Mosimane, believes his job is safe, despite a rather disappointing campaign so far this season for his star-studded side.

Sundowns are seventh on the log with 17 points from 11 games, 13 points off the log-leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who have played one more game. The Chloorkop-based club’s coach went on record in a post-match interview saying, in part, “I’ve got a good board and I’ve got a good president who supports me to keep going… I’m here for long and we’ve got a good team… if my job is under threat, I don’t know… I don’t have pressure, I know my job. This is my job (and) if you want to measure me, this is my job… I’m settled and I’m not under threat for my job. I’m a good coach. I know what I’m doing…” 

If this statement is anything to go by, the former Bafana Bafana mentor’s job really is safe, but the question is, for how long? How long are the 'good board' and the 'supportive president' going to tolerate the poor performances we’ve seen from the ‘Brazilians’ so far this season? How long before the club starts to press the panic button again?  

Sundowns have already been eliminated from two cup competitions so far this season - by their hoodoo team Platinum Stars in the 2-1 quarter-finals of the MTN8 and their 1-0 loss in Telkom Knockout semi-finals. The worst thing about both defeats is the fact that they were both inflicted by former Downs players who were deemed surplus to requirements, Vuyo Mere with a penalty in the MTN8 and Eleazer Rodgers in the Telkom Knockout. It has been six years since Sundowns last tasted cup competition success, as they last lifted a trophy in 2008 with a solitary Lerato Chabangu goal against, then NFD side, Mpumalanga Black Aces. Since then, the closest they’ve come has been a runner-up medal.

Last season, Mosimane finally brought smiles to the team’s supporters by delivering a league title, a achievement they last tasted in 2006/07, and he looked to be on his way to bringing back the ‘Golden Era’ of Bafana Ba Style in the 1990’s when they won a number of cup trophies and three consecutive league titles. In the early 2000s, Sundowns went on to reach the final of the CAF Champions League, losing 4-1 to Egypt’s Al Ahly. Looking at Sundowns’ finishing of last season, coupled with the massive quality in their squad, you’d be forgiven for expecting them to relive those glory days this season, but that hasn’t been the case at all. The club’s president, Patrice Motsepe, went on record about his desire to conquer the African continent, and there’s no excuse for Jingles not to fulfil his boss’ wish. However, to do that, Pitso first has to do the business in the domestic league... as they say, charity begins at home.  But it must be said that, if the team’s history is anything to go by, you can’t write Sundowns off in their title-defending season. So maybe Jingles knows something when he says he’s not under any pressure... only time will tell.

The question is, can Jingles turn the club’s fortunes around?

Cheers.

VJ

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