BLACK Leopards chairman David Thidiela has admitted that they are under pressure to bounce back to the Absa Premiership this season.
Lidoda Duvha are now in their fourth season in the National First Division (NFD) after being relegated to the lower ranks in the 2012-13 season when they finished at the bottom of the PSL table with only 23 points.
In the 2014-15 season Leopards came close when they made it to the NFD play-offs but their dream of a return faded when Jomo Cosmos defeated Moroka Swallows 1-0 in the match that decided who would be promoted.
Thidiela, whose side host FC Cape Town at Thohoyandou Stadium tomorrow (3.30pm), says they know what is expected from the team this season.
He said: “We need to make our fans proud. There’s pressure from them now and understandably so. They are tired of the NFD. They want the club to go back to the PSL where it belongs.
“We must make sure we play our A-game this season to fulfil their dream.”
Leopards have not been consistent in the six games they have played so far. They have won two, lost two and drew the other two.
Last weekend they lost 2-0 to University of Pretoria in their own backyard.
Thidiela believes their coach, Jairos Tapera, can do the job: “We gave the coach a three-year contract because we believe in him, but he can’t do it alone.
“I’m not panicking. I would just love to see us going into the Christmas break in the top three teams. That would be good.”