JOHANNESBURG - Pitso Mosimane wants a double-digit lead at the top of the table before he can comfortably say the Absa Premiership title is Mamelodi Sundowns’ to lose.
And the coach might just get his wish considering how this current 2017-18 season is turning out, with rivals incredibly off colour and simply not at the races.
“You can’t start talking when you only have a five point gap,” Mosimane said after Sundowns beat Maritzburg United 1-0 at Loftus on Wednesday night to widen the gap at the summit.
“I know we have those two games in hand, but that is dangerous. Look at SuperSport United. What is happening now with their games in hand? That thing is not an advantage because you have to win those games.”
Even Fadlu Davids, the Maritzburg coach, said immediately after the encounter that Sundowns were champions in waiting.
“He’s just being nice,” said Mosimane. “Fadlu is being a nice guy and he means well, but we have got to be careful. It is too early and we have to manage all these compliments.
"When you have a 14 or 15-point lead, then you can start saying it will be silly for us to lose the title. But when you are not there yet, it is way too early.
"We have not even played half the league matches. It will be very difficult to get the six points from the two games left before Christmas.”
But what does Mosimane think about his title rivals and a campaign that has been characterised by inconsistency?
“I think the second half of the season will actually be worse,” the Sundown coach opined. “The season so far has been deceiving. When you go two rounds of matches and there are no goals, there’s obviously a topic and it’s justified at that time.
"I like what Cavin Johnson (AmaZulu coach) said. He says most of us coaches play not to lose and we are conservative. It’s true, who wants to lose? But if you don’t attack, how are you going to win? If your game is 70 percent defence and 30 percent attack, are you going to score from that 30 percent? We need to play.”
Mosimane then argued this approach would affect Bafana Bafana in the long run.
“I understand we are all afraid to lose our jobs. So am I. But we play withdrawal football and it’s easy to do so, but for big teams this is scary because we still have to try and build from the back because our people want entertainment.
"This is dangerous for the national team because we are not building attackers,” the coach continued. “We will all be scraping for points in the second half of the season.
"It will be one draw after another, hence you find yourself in second place if you just win two games. We don’t want to play. But we are Sundowns and we have to try, you can’t give it to the centreback and ask him to hoof it forward.”
Sundowns host Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday afternoon at Loftus and it’s another opportunity for the Brazilians to show they are a cut above the rest.
“But we might not have the legs,” Mosimane said. “You saw Vila (Sibusiso Vilakazi) and Thapelo (Morena) cramping. And (Hlompho) Kekana was also struggling at the end because he played four games in 12 days.
"But we should have resources in terms of personnel, but it will be difficult for smaller teams with games back-to-back. I don’t like rotation because I prefer putting out my best team, but we may have to do that a little bit.”