Despite suffering setbacks in the Caf Champions League and in the MTN8, Mamelodi Sundowns are not under pressure to defend their Premier Soccer League (PSL) title, according to the Brazilians' former defender David Kannemeyer.
“No, I don't think they are under pressure to bounce back and defend their league title because they played too much football in the past few seasons,” Kannemeyer told Goal.
“Despite all the challenges, they managed to lift the league title and they are still in there (Caf Champions League) after winning the league last season,” he added.
“I know coach Pitso is a winner and his players will want to challenge for trophies, but I think they must start afresh in the domestic campaign and this is a blessing in disguise for them to focus on the league until they return to continental football again,” he explained.
“He recruited good players to bolster the squad and I believe it's just a matter of time before they start to fly again because the new players are still getting accustomed to the style and system and so on,” continued the former left back.
Having exited the continental club competition and the MTN8 in the space of one week will test the character of the reigning league against AmaZulu whom they meet on Sunday.
However, the retired Bafana Bafana left back told Goal that experienced players such as skipper Hlompho Kekana and their technical staff will guide players such as Lyle Lakay and others.
“I think they are experienced enough to keep going and they know that in football, you are as good as your last game – so I don't think they will doubt themselves,” he continued.
“I think players such as Hlompho will come in handy to help the coaching staff in motivating the youngsters and the new recruits to forge ahead with confidence,” said the former Cape Town Spurs defender.
“Coach Pitso and his technical team are experienced and they know the recent setbacks are like water under the bridge. It's back to business now and players such as Lyle are new at Sundowns, but they are also experienced you know,” he added.
With Usuthu coach Cavin Johnson having stated that his players usually lift their game when they meet the PSL 'big guns', he expects a beautiful game of football.
In addition, the 41-year-old legend has raised questions regarding whether or not Usuthu will contain Sundowns' quality.
“Look, whoever comes against Sundowns will be motivated and there is no need to uplift the morale of the opponent and that will be the case for AmaZulu coach,” he noted.
“The question is will they contain the quality at Sundowns with due respect to AmaZulu because we are all aware of the quality at Sundowns in all departments,” he quizzed.
“I want to also applaud the Sundowns supporters because they have always rallied behind the team and I am sure they understand that the team has new players – I don't see them becoming impatient with the team,” urged the former Kaizer Chiefs defender.
“It will be a great match to watch and I believe both sides will play good football for the supporters to enjoy,” he concluded.