Rulani Mokwena, the coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, has advised his players and supporters not to be seduced into thinking they are safe because of the dismal performance of other clubs in the African Champions League.
In the group stage of current season, Sundowns are leading their group and may guarantee their spot if they win the next game.
Their old rivals Wydad Casablanca are at the bottom of the group, and leaders Al Ahly are also not at all comfortable there.
It implies that Sundowns could finally win the continent’s premier club competition this year, after years of coming close but missing the final.
Mokwena, though, advises against making any wild predictions because historical evidence indicates that one should never take anything for granted in the Champions League.
“It’s not the name of the team. It’s the performances on the day,” the Sundowns boss told SuperSport.com.
“There’s so many things that ride on the result. The result can belong to anybody.
“Do not forget how many times football has taught the story of it’s not really how you start but how you really end.”
Mokwena was alluding to the two previous Champions League campaigns, in which Sundowns had performed admirably in the group stages but had collapsed in the knockout stages.
“Al Ahly was written off in the Champions League at this point last season, yet they managed to qualify with one game remaining. What followed, then? They succeeded in taking home the Champions League.
“The Spanish national team lost their first group stage game (at the 2010 World Cup) in front of our own eyes,” Mokwena said.
They proceeded to win the World Cup after that.
Argentina lost their opening World Cup match but went on to win the tournament.
With two games remaining in their group, Sundown will pick up where they left off in their Champions League campaign in late February.
After defeating Pyramids on the road in Egypt in their most recent game, they have seven points from their first four games.