With just seven games left in the league, and Sundowns boasting a four-point lead at the top at present, the chasing pack are all depending on the likes of Chippa United, Baroka and Golden Arrows to do them favours in the upcoming fixtures.
While the Brazilians might not admit it themselves, ‘Rama’, who experienced what it’s like to be the frontrunners at this crucial stage of the season during his time at Chloorkop, has admitted it is not child’s play having to handle the pressure at the top.
“It’s very difficult, honestly speaking, because you know that there are people behind you who are very capable of catching you,” said Mphahlele.
“They know Orlando Pirates is behind them; they know Maritzburg is there; they know we are there, and Free State Stars is there.
“And, honestly speaking, they are human beings, they will feel the pressure to say, ‘Okay, we can’t drop anymore points because if we drop more these guys are coming.’
“As much as it’s difficult to chase, it’s also difficult being on top because everybody who plays against you wants your place at number one.
“But they are experienced, they know how to handle that pressure. Do I think they’ll crack? Yeah, I hope they do, but if they don’t then it’s good for their team.”
Being a distant eight points behind in fifth position, the 28-year-old utility back has not yet thrown the towel in and stresses that their focus needs to be purely on chasing, without paying mind to what happens with those above them.
“At this stage of the season the pressure high and you need players who can handle that, because we’ve put ourselves in a position where you guys [media] start saying, ‘They can fight for the league,’ and we also start seeing that,” he added.
“The pressure then starts creeping in, and that’s when we need to come together as a team and say, ‘Can we focus on what’s on our plate and try to achieve it.
“But, yeah, we just have to do the chasing. If the teams on top win, we can’t do anything about it, but at the moment we’re just chasing.”
The Glamour Boys next host a struggling AmaZulu side at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening (18h00).