Time running out, Igesund

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

After losing the Tshwane derby on Saturday, for one to say that Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund is under pressure, is to harp on the obvious.

Sundowns pride themselves on dominating these sorts of matches, but when Elias Pelembe scored his second, and United's third goal on Saturday, Igesund probably recalled the subtle warning by club president Patrice Motsepe on Friday: "continue to deliver or else".

He also said: "If you're a coach you've got to win and if you don't win, I say there is trouble... very, very serious trouble."

Motsepe has also vowed to fire the entire technical staff, possibly including new assistant coach Trott Moloto, if things don't improve soon.

Yet the Brazilians' title-winning coach has been talking consistently of only being able to do so much.

"I cannot score the goals for them [players]. We create chances at goals and they are missed.

"Tonight we conceded soft goals, and had to fight from the back at all times," Igesund said after the game.

He maintained he would continue to motivate the players, and get them to make fewer mistakes, such as the one that allowed Bongani Khumalo to rise unchallenged and head United into a 2-1 lead just minutes after Peter Ndlovu had equalised for Sundowns.

When he let Neil Tovey and Miguel Gamondi go at the beginning of last season, Motsepe said he was always three months late in firing his coaches, and he looks to be on the warpath these days.

One has to wonder what would happen on Wednesday should Downs lose for the fourth consecutive time against Ajax in Cape Town.

Gavin Hunt, for his part, must have been relieved, as Matsatsantsa a Pitori have also been dropping points at every turn these days.

"They are a quality side, and played better than us in the opening minutes," Hunt said.

"But we stuck it out, and I am very proud of my boys. We always looked like we had goals in us, at all times, and should really have scored more."

His side welcomes Santos to Super Stadium this Wednesday, and they carry with them a huge psychological edge after beating the Premiership champions.