Ex-Orlando Pirates midfielder Helman Mkhalele says he is happy with how his former club has started the current Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
The retired midfielder discussed the league title race with Bucs placed second - three points behind the leaders Bidvest Wits, while the defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns are sitting on the fifth spot.
"I am impressed with how they (Pirates) have started the season and I believe that they will finish very well. What I like is the fact that they have accumulated a lot of points and they planned very well because they are also competing in the Caf Champions League," Mkhalele told Goal.
The man nicknamed 'Midnight Express' reckons the Sea Robbers are capable of winning the league title.
"I think they can be able to go all the way and challenge for the league title. They have a good squad and a coaching staff which is doing well," he explained.
"It will not be easy because clubs like Bidvest Wits are challenging for the title and they have been smart by collecting points as early as possible. Pirates won't find it easy, but they can compete," he added.
The former South Africa international stated that there is no need for Bucs to beef up their squad during the upcoming January transfer window.
"In my opinion, the Pirates squad is okay and there is no need to beef it up in the transfer window. They have enough players and some of the players, who are not registered in Caf and they are not playing regularly in domestic competitions," said the legend.
"I think it will be wise to manage the squad well as they have league and Nedbank Cup games coming up. We will see how they perform in the continent," added Mkhalele.
"I think the coaching staff is experienced enough to ensure that everyone remains motivated because the league will not be only won by players, who are playing regularly. Players, who are not playing regularly also have a role to motivate the other guys whenever the coach decides to rotate his squad," he said.
Mkhalele went on to state that the Brazilians also have what it takes to retain their PSL title.
"For Sundowns, they are experienced in the PSL and they have tight schedules both locally and in the continent. They are managing their load well thus far," he continued.
"I believe that they are yet to lose and that is a good sign for them. It really motivates them," reacted Mkhalele.
"On the other hand, they still have to convert draws into wins and also guard against being too confident when playing their games in hand because that might work against them," warned the Newcastle-born player.
Sundowns have been eliminated from this season's MTN8 Cup and Telkom Knockout Cup.
"I know that they were disappointed to miss out on those trophies just like Pirates, but they can still win something," he said.
"Credit must also go to the Sundowns technical team for bringing in good players, who are slowly fitting in well. However, there are some challenges like what happened in the Telkom Knockout Cup against Baroka FC," he reflected.
"The guys are giving their best, but we still need time to understand each other and the coaches should get the balance right in the second round," he said.
"Just like Pirates, I don't think there is no need for Sundowns to buy players because they have enough quality. I think they will finish the season well and I would like to see them doing well in the continent," he concluded.