Jomo Cosmos defender Ofosu Appiah said relegation thoughts haunted his embattled teammates in what could be their last three weeks in the Premiership.
Cosmos have a hard ask in trying to avoid a possible third relegation from top flight soccer – a record in the Premier Soccer League era.
“We are professionals but, at the end of the day, thoughts of the team not surviving ... it's not a good feeling,” the Ghanaian player said on Tuesday.
“We need to survive, not just in tomorrow's (Wednesday) league match against AmaZulu, but in the three matches after.
“We have to do it for (chairman and coach) Jomo Sono. He has done a lot for us and the club.”
Ezenkosi, with 16 points and just two victories from 26 games, have to beat AmaZulu in KwaMashu to raise them from the bottom of the table.
A loss or a draw will almost certainly ensure their exit – whether automatically or in the best case scenario if they finish in 15th place.
The second-from-bottom team goes into a play-off round with two other First Division promotion hopefuls.
Even then, Cosmos would have to rely on Santos and Black Leopards losing their remaining fixtures, and be left with an improbable task of winning their three final championship fixtures.
They play Maritzburg United on Saturday, and Leopards next Wednesday, both at home, before travelling to meet Santos next weekend.
Appiah said they were left with little option but to throw caution to the wind.
“If you don't want to be killed then you have to kill,” he said.
“The best way to defend is to attack, and that is what we will have to do...and then hope.
“We will die for Sono on the field in our last matches.”
In the evening's other catch-up fixture, Kaizer Chiefs face Ajax Cape Town in a potentially explosive clash in Polokwane.
Sixth-placed Chiefs (43 points) named Briton Stuart Baxter as their new coach for next season.
With three matches left to play, they aim to end a disastrous, trophy-less campaign on a high and a possible top-four finish under the interim guidance of former players, Donald Khuse and Doctor Khumalo.
Chiefs' captain Itumeleng Khune said the side were psychologically better after their 2-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns which ended their four-game winless streak.
“It will be tough, Ajax are not a small club,” said Khune.
“But one good thing is that we are coming from a good, motivating win.”
Like Amakhosi, 9th-positioned Ajax (37 points) have won only one of their last five matches as they remain harbouring top eight ambitions.
“We are in a challenging situation ahead of the last three games of the season,” said Ajax coach Maarten Stekelenburg.
“We've made it difficult for ourselves to secure our position in the top eight.
“We are predicting a tight game between two teams who want to win.” – Sapa