- Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango has opened up about why teams find it difficult to defend the PSL title
- Sundowns go into the season as early favourites to win a record ninth PSL title
- Onyango said teams struggle to defend the title because of the pressure that comes from being expected to win
Defending Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Mamelodi Sundowns head into the 2018/19 season as the favourites to win the title. If the defending champions manage to once again win the competition it will be a record ninth for the club and a fourth for coach Pitso Mosimane.
History is, however, not with the Pretoria-based club. No club has successfully defended the PSL crown since the dominant Orlando Pirates side did won in 2010/2011 and 2011/12.
Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango has given his opinion on why defending champions often found it tough to repeat the success of their previous seasons.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Onyango said one of the biggest problems was that supporters, pundits and even the players themselves started expecting the team to win, this often placed players under extreme pressure and some just did not cope well.
Onyango said another reason was that every single team in the league targeted the defending champions as a benchmark and made it a point to beat that team during their encounters.
Kickoff.co.za reported that Onyango added that the players at his club were aware that they needed to start the new season better than last season.
Mamelodi Sundowns will host Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld in the opening match of the season on Saturday afternoon. The match has all the hallmarks of being a PSL classic.
Onyango brushed off suggestions that Sundowns would walk the match because of the way the obliterated Kaizer Chiefs in their pre-season match.
Onyango said the pre-season Shell Helix Cup result was fantastic but it counted for nothing now that the season proper was getting started. He said playing Kaizer Chiefs in the PSL was always a huge occasion and noted that Sundowns needed to improve their results from last year.
Sundowns managed only a loss and a draw in their matches last season.
Andile Jali will as expected miss the match on Saturday due to a hamstring injury.
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