Johannesburg - Having watched as his side missed out on finishing in the top eight of the Absa Premiership following a 2-2 draw with Bidvest Wits on Saturday, Mamelodi Sundowns boss Pitso Mosimane says hard work awaits his team ahead of next season.
Needing a victory to guarantee their status among the all-important top half of the league, Sundowns were left frustrated by Wits and finished in a disappointing 10th overall.
"We wanted to be in the top eight, yes. We were desperate looking for it and we didn't get it," Mosimane said at the Lucas Moripe Stadium after the game.
"So maybe it was not meant for us. But life is like that, sometimes you must look at the positives. It shows to us that you have to work harder to make it to the top eight."
A quiet opening half was sparked into life when Richard Henyekane broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, before Wits equalised two minutes later through Ryan Chapman.
A minute later, Bryce Moon stole the lead for the visitors, sending Wits into the break with the lead, leaving Sundowns perplexed by the quick-fire double strike from the Clever Boys.
"We started well by pressing from the top. We were chasing the win," Mosimane said.
"And when you're chasing the win, you open yourself a little bit at the back. That's when Wits managed to go through at the back."
The former Bafana Bafana coach took over from beleaguered Dutchman Johan Neeskens in December last year when the team were rooted to the bottom of the Premiership standings.
Mosimane, however, was able to guide the Brazilians to a respectable mid-table finish, and he added that finishing outside of the top eight might prove to be a blessing in disguise, as the team prepared for the new season under his guidance.
"Maybe now we won't have (as much) pressure from the MTN8, so we'll be able to work properly and come back well," he said.
"I think, if I look at the season from when I arrived (at Sundowns), on the ratio that we came with, if this was the beginning of the season, I think we should be first or second.
"So we must start properly, don't start the way we started (this season under Neeskens). We started very badly and we lost a lot of points."
Looking ahead to their off-season as they begin preparations for the new campaign, Mosimane said a change in attitude was needed in order for the Chloorkop outfit to bounce back.
"We need to start a new season. We need a different mentality. Everybody knows Sundowns have spoilt players, spoilt whatever... not with me.
"The mentality is going to change, we're going to work very hard. We're going to show who we are. We're not spoilt, we're not rich, we're going to earn our money and we have to start doing things right.
"All that sluggish and comfort-zone football won't happen with me. I have never been in a comfort-zone in my career, I work very hard and I'm always on top of my game."