Sikhakhane's eyes on the prize

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Thanda walked away 2-0 winners from the Umhlathuze Sports Grounds, thanks to second-half goals from Boikanyo Komane and Siduduzo Dlamini to stay eight points clear of Black Leopards, who are second with 39 points after 22 games.

AmaBhubesi, who were relegated from the PSL in 2008/09, now need just 17 points from their remaining eight matches to reach an unassailable 64 points and ensure their return to the topflight next season.

What has helped Thanda's cause is that they have yet to lose at home, and have collected 29 points out of a possible 33 in their back yard, while only Mthatha Bucks and AmaZulu have come away with a point each.

"I think for us it's good to maintain that gap and that position on top of the log, but the most important thing is to win our games," Sikhakhane said after Sunday's game.

"We have to win our games and not be concentrating on other teams that are behind us. We are not worried about Leopards and whoever else is behind us.

"We've been sitting there [at the top] for nine months now so we are able to maintain that position."

The former Chippa United coach has revealed what the message to his players has been of late.

"The aim was to stay focused and level-headed, and not to get complacent, respect the opponents, don't undermine anyone.

"You saw, if we undermined Santos it would have been a different story today because they packed six players at the back in the first half.

"The minute they started to play they gave us a chance to open up their gaps at the back, because we wanted to break that line and get at least one goal so that we would confuse them.

"We had ball posession of almost 80 per cent, if you can count, but all in all for the players and us [the technical team] it is to work as a team and also as the management to stay focused, stay humble, respect the opponents and respect everyone."

Meanwhile, KickOff.com has learnt that should Thanda secure promotion at the end of the season they will pocket R12-million to refurbish their home stadium to fit the PSL criteria for next season's matches.

Sikhakhane and company will now wait two weeks before their next outing away to Jomo Cosmos on April 16 at the Tsakane stadium, after they were eliminated from the Nedbank Cup play-off round by Stellenbosch FC.

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