Steve Komphela has attempted to explain Kaizer Chiefs' loss of form and results going into the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates.
The former Chiefs mentor says right now it is all about how mentally strong the players are and believes that will separate the men from the boys.
"Towards the end as it is now, the final leg is nothing else but mental," Komphela says.
"You cannot have the same crop of players who have been performing without stress at the beginning when there was no pressure. The same players now start to be jittery, then confidence, it is mentality.
"Now you need to work on a mindset and believe to say 'listen, challenges will be there but you've got to do this thing that you used to do' because you have to."
The Golden Arrows coach feels as other teams close the points gap on log leaders Amakhosi, mentality comes even further into play at this stage of the campaign.
"You look at it from a reality point of view, the gap is different, it's four now, but very interesting and Sundowns is still going to play Chiefs," Komphela adds.
"When the competition becomes fierce, then it becomes mental. Beginning of the season it's about the physical part of the game and how coaches prepare the teams through the pre-season.
"Then it becomes tactical as they gel after about six weeks. Then the technical ability of the players, the physical conditioning depends how you set up."
Komphela feels the dynamics ahead of the Soweto Derby have changed because of the expectations and because both Chiefs and Pirates have something to fight for.
"It's mentality, and why I'm saying that, for all the championship chasers whoever is strong mentally and more focused will come through," he explains.
"But there's pressure there, because there's a level of expectation from supporters and there's not only pressure from within for success but there's external pressure in terms of pride.
"There's a derby, the dynamics are starting to change now, and it's going to be hot in the kitchen. It's going to be tough."
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