Pretoria – Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has warned of the threat from title-chasing Wits and Kaizer Chiefs in the final four fixtures of the Premiership season.
Surprise Moriri scored a first half header as Mosimane's troops climbed to the top of the Premiership standings, beating Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Wednesday evening.
Mpumalanga Black Aces edged Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in Johannesburg in a simultaneous fixture, which allowed Sundowns to move ahead.
Mosimane, however, believed Sundowns would be under pressure not only from Chiefs, but also third-placed Wits, who notched-up their third successive league victory, also on Wednesday.
“It's very difficult. Times are tough, but I believe it's going to go to the end and we're getting pressure from Wits also,” Mosimane said after the game.
“Don't write them off. They're getting results every week. If we don't look at ourselves and the neighbours don't look at themselves, Wits can overcome one of us.
“It's five games to go, four games to go, so it's not easy.”
Wednesday's victory sent the Brazilians three points clear at the top of the table, though Chiefs still have a game in hand and could move back to level on points in the coming weeks.
The former Bafana Bafana boss played down the significance of being top of the log with four games remaining.
“I don't know if it's right to take the lead now, but if you ask me, 'do you want to lose, and they win,' I'd say no,” Mosimane said.
“I don't know if we have the strength to overtake, it's like a marathon. When that bell goes for the last lap – will we take the band? Let's see.
“It's for my players to calm down now. Some have got experience, like Teko and Surprise. I don't know whether the rest have got experience.
“Can they handle the situation? I don't know, I have to talk to them.”
Moriri's 24th minute winner sent the Pretoria outfit surging back to the summit of the Premiership for the first time since the beginning of November 2013, with Chiefs holding on to the top spot since then.
“You could see we scraped through. We're grinding results, all that's important is to win the games,” Mosimane added.
“This is not time to play pretty football, it's time to win the match and bring results – We're bringing results. We play our way and we keep our shape and that's all we need at this point in time.”
With a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash with Orlando Pirates lying in wait over the weekend, Sundowns are in the more familiar position of challenging on two fronts, having fallen off the pace in recent seasons.
Significantly, Mosimane's outfit face the now daunting prospect of taking on Mpumalanga Black Aces in their next league clash in a week's time.
Aces have had a season to remember under coach Clive Barker, currently occupying fifth in the standings and threatening a top four finish. – Sapa