SuperSport United CEO Stan Matthews has made a startling but rational admission that he would prefer his side to end fourth rather than second or third this season.
Matthews says although his club has proven in the past they can hold their own against Africa's best, he does not think the current squad is ready for CAF club competitions, which is what third place would earn them.
SuperSport's best recent run in the CAF Confederation Cup ended in a final defeat to TP Mazembe in 2017 under former coach Eric Tinkler.
"We've shown that we are capable of competing in Africa, we've competed in Africa twelve times in the past 16 years," Matthews tells KickOff.com.
"We have what it takes to compete in Africa, but we have to be honest as a football club. We haven't been in the top four in our league since 2012.
"I'm just asking the question that if you can't finish in your own domestic league in the top four, for eight years, are you ready to go and conquer the continent or should you be focusing on nailing down a top four, top three?
"First of all to qualify for Africa we need to finish in the top three. So we need to earn that, and at the moment we haven't earned that. We are third, but Wits have got games over us and they are likely to overtake us.
"I think that it's a year too early for us. We need to show that we can finish in the top four this year and try to grab that fourth spot, which would be a great accomplishment for us.
"But finishing fourth also keeps us out of Africa, which means I don't have to extend my squad. I don't have to stretch a small group of players across lots of competitions travelling... ebola, corona, malaria and other fatigue... connecting flights and all the things that nearly got us relegated back in 2017.
"So I'm saying, I want to be in Africa, we all want to win a gold star, we all want to win a silver star, we all want to represent our country on the continent. But we have to do so when it's realistic and we are strong enough and consistent enough as a brand.
"Despite winning another cup [Telkom Knockout], which we've done plenty of times before, we have not been able to convert that into a consistent performance in the league. Until we do so, I'm never going to stand up and say we are ready for Africa."
NOW READ: 'Section's future in SuperSport's hands'