The Citizens could have cut the gap to Masandawana to just a point with a victory at Athlone Stadium, yet the 1-0 loss left them seven points behind, and following the weekend’s other results, the Cape club now lies fifth on the standings, with 10 games left in the season.
“I think it is done to be honest. I think it has slipped, that’s us,” Manousakis conceded. “I think if we stay in the top five, we will be okay, and we will be happy with that.”
City are gearing up for a busy February, with six games scheduled in the space of 20 days, beginning with Wednesday’s Nedbank Cup clash against Bidvest Wits, followed by back-to-back CAF Condeferation Cup qualifiers before three tough Absa Premiership ties against Wits, Kaizer Chiefs and Baroka. Manousakis feels a top-eight finish is now the club’s realistic aim.
“We’ve got Nedbank on Wednesday and then we are off to Swaziland and that is a whole new experience for us in the CAF,” he said.
“If I understood the chairman at the beginning of the season, his mandate to Benni was top eight, so hopefully we will end there and thereabouts. But, I think we need to be realistic and say that we are out of the running.”