Runaway leaders Sundowns filled with anxiety claims Rulani

football10 April 2024 11:49| © Mzansi Football
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Rulani Mokwena © Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns might be runaway leaders in the DStv Premiership, and chasing a trio of trophies, but coach Rulani Mokwena says they are filed with anxiety and feeling the pressure.

Sundowns stretched their unbeaten league run to 20 matches on Tuesday as they overcame bottom-placed Cape Town Spurs 1-0 at the Athlone Stadium, taking all the points via a controversial first half penalty.

It stretched their lead over second placed Stellenbosch to 13 points and took them closer to a seventh successive league title but Mokwena says it is not as rosy as it seems in the Brazilians camp.

“I can see we play with so much anxiety, we have so much pressure on us, you can see we are not our normal selves,” he said after the narrow win over Spurs, which took them over 50 points for the season.

“Some of it is my fault because I put so much pressure on them. I want more. I put them under a lot of stress and then the results are also putting them under stress.

“They also see the log, they see the situation, they know that they have to compete for the Champions League, compete for the Nedbank Cup,” he added.

Sundowns are in the last eight of the Nedbank Cup against University of Pretoria on Friday and then next weekend travel to Tunisia to take on Esperance in the first leg of their African Champions League semifinal.

“I'm proud that at this point last season we had 50 points and this season we have 52. Last season we were not in the in the race for three trophies but now we are in the race for three trophies.

“So I'm very proud and we just have to stay humble, keep our feet on the ground and just keep working,” added Mokwena

“It’s been a difficult season because of the Africa Cup of Nations finals. People will say I am making excuses but the results speak for themselves and sometimes I feel like I have to sit here and defend our results but this team is so good. Such good human beings but, of course, I think we can do better. They know I want them to do better, play better, create more chances. But we're in a position that we haven't been in a very, very long time and we should be we should be very grateful sometimes,” he said.