Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates celebrates in front of a crowded stand during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Chippa United and Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth South Africa on 25 February 2018 ©/BackpagePix
Monday Mar 26, 2018. 14:00
Orlando Pirates are playing mind games in the race for the Absa Premiership title, according to former Buccaneers winger Dikgang Mabalane.
Pirates have repeatedly downplayed their chances of winning the league championship, even though they are just one point behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns (who have a game in hand).
Mabalane believes Bucs are trying to deflect the pressure that comes with being one of the favourites at the sharp end of the season, but insists they cannot hide from it for long.
“You know those are mind games. They just don’t want the pressure to be on the players,” Mabalane, who won the PSL during his time with the Soweto club, is quoted by Kick-Off.
“I have played the game before and we’ve had coaches, especially when you are close to getting the prize, saying they are not title favourites because they don’t want the pressure to be on the team.
“It’s just a tactic to handle the pressure from media and everyone else and to deflect pressure to Sundowns.
“They are challenging for the title and the pressure is on whether they like it or not. The fact is the pressure is on and they know that they have a chance of challenging for the league.”
Pirates will return to league action next midweek when they host Bloemfontein Celtic.