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Rulani Mokwena: ‘I can’t smell the league title’

Mamelodi Sundowns’ shrewd coach Rulani Mokwena has refused to be thrust under the title-talk pressure, saying ‘no title can be won in December’.

The Tshwane giants registered a tenth successive victory in the DStv Premiership after edging AmaZulu 1-0 on Wednesday night in KZN.

Star player, Lucas Ribeiro scored a first-half penalty to ensure the win, leaving Sundowns five points clear at the summit of the DStv Premiership standings.

As they have been flawless, the shrewd coach Rulani Mokwena has refused to be drawn into commenting about winning the title as yet. Chiefly, Mokwena is concerned with plotting how to navigate their heavily congested December fixture schedule. 


Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrating a goal
Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrating a goal.

Asked if he is already smelling the title after the ten-match winning streak, the 36-year-old said: “I can’t smell the title. No title can be won in December unless I have problems with my senses.”

Moreso, the Mamelodi Sundowns mentor does not foresee his men dropping the ball in terms of their league-winning streak.

“The only problem with getting the record of your back is that you have to lose and we are bad losers. We don’t want to open that door. It keeps knocking. Every game starts on 0-0 and defeat is like that friend that gets too comfortable,” added Mokwena.

“When you open the door, they call the other friends. And eventually, everyone has taken over your house.

“We don’t operate in that space. We have players with a great mentality. They deserve what they have, in fact even more.

Most importantly, after registering ten straight wins, the serial DStv Premiership Champions now sit pretty on top, with 30 points.

Moreso, what is impressive is the fact that they have managed to grind results albeit without several players who are injured. These include Brian Onyango, Mothobi Mvala, Rushine De Reuck. Aubrey Modiba, Rivaldo Coetzee, and Neo Maema.

Thando Buthelezi, Siyanda Nyanga, Junior Mendieta, and Bathusi Aubaas complete the list. 

In addition, they now shift focus to the CAF Champions League group phase. They will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways.

They lost to TP Mazembe in their last CAF Champion League match. The Pretoria-based side is set to host Pyramids FC of Egypt.

The game will be played on Sunday afternoon at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

RELATED STORY: Sundowns extend league winning streak with victory over AmaZulu

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