Sundowns play down title bid

GENERALLY African tradition demands that one must be humble, so it is therefore not surprising that on the verge of possibly causing an upset, Mamelodi Sundowns captain Esrom Nyandoro and Lebohang Mokoena are coy about harbouring any title ambitions.

GENERALLY African tradition demands that one must be humble, so it is therefore not surprising that on the verge of possibly causing an upset, Mamelodi Sundowns captain Esrom Nyandoro and Lebohang Mokoena are coy about harbouring any title ambitions.

This as the Brazilians lie on the second spot of the Absa Premiership league table, six points behind leaders SuperSport United.

Nyandoro is loath to appear to be putting his team under any pressure or to attract any attention to the Chloorkop-based side.

For a team that was at some stage of the current season lying in position nine, remarkable does not even begin to describe their exploits, and the only thing left to achieve for Hristo Stoichkov's charges is to bag the big prize.

Downs' performance is made all the more impressive by what Nyandoro and Mokoena say were the teams' objectives for this season.

"The emphasis this season was on building the team to get us to play as a unit. And then maybe think about winning the league next season," Mokoena said.

Downs have in the past been criticised for their tendency to splurge on big names, while paying no attention to developing young players.

But this has been different, with a few fresh faces being added to the mix. Defender Siyanda Xulu has been the most prominent of the young players, and has carved a niche for himself alongside wily old campaigners such as Matthew Booth and Luvhengo Mungomeni.

"It is good to promote the youngsters from the development programme. They will learn a lot as they go about building their careers," Mokoena said.

And as "The Dagger" plots a last minute league takeover, it is worth noting that there has not been a whiff of the dreaded "player power" coming from that direction.

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