JOHANNESBURG – The ship has long sailed on Mamelodi Sundowns pursuing an unbeaten run during the current Absa Premiership season, the log leaders having already lost three times so far in this campaign.
But that hasn’t stopped them from wanting to kick-start the sort of winning streak that will see them pull away from their title rivals, especially given the extremely unpredictable form of the opposition, who appear below par in comparison to Sundowns.
The Brazilians host Bloemfontein Celtic this afternoon determined to add to their five points gap at the top, and forward Sibusiso Vilakazi talked about how he’s been inspired by Manchester City – a side running away with the championship in the English Premier League.
“Their mentality has been something else,” said Vilakazi of City’s winning streak of 16 matches from the 17 they have played, the other one being a hard fought draw with virtually the last kick of the game.
“They keep poking and eventually they find the gap and are able to capitalise. Sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. Sometimes you just have to settle for a point.”
Sundowns very nearly had to settle for a point on Wednesday night when they faced Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld, but Percy Tau found the gap to net the only goal of the game.
“At times you want the full package – whereby you want the good play with the result as well,” Vilakazi said.
“I think we just scraped through against Maritzburg because it wasn’t smooth. There were not a lot of combination plays. It was tough, but we had to keep poking and poking. We had a better counter attack plan and were able to win the game.”
He said Sundowns have shown the mark of champions in their recent games, which included a 4-0 thumping of Baroka FC last week and then a narrow 1-0 win over Golden Arrows away, before making it back-to-back home victories by beating Maritzburg midweek.
“If a team sits back and wants to just soak up the pressure, you have to keep on trying. And eventually they will lose their footing and concentration,” Vilakazi explained.
The Bafana Bafana star is also hoping to play a bigger role to Sundowns’ title charge this season, although he is a little disappointed to have scored just once in nine league matches so far in this campaign.
“I am enjoying my role, yes. But I am not getting goals, that’s interesting. But I have to keep on pushing,” he said.
“I think I am contributing to the team, and I am doing that by trying to create chances and help with my movements on the pitch.
“Maybe I might score on the last day of the season, a crucial goal for our season, who knows? This is a team effort, so I am happy to contribute anyhow.
"It doesn’t really bug me when I don’t score. As I said, we are a team and there is a lot of quality in this team. For me, right now it’s all in the mind. Maybe I need to find a way to make it happen. It’s a challenge.”