Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane views Free State Stars counterpart Luc Eymael as an opponent to be respected ahead of Wednesday's Absa Premiership clash at Loftus Versveld.
The Brazilians lead the league standings and enjoy a six-point advantage over Stars in fourth place, however, Ea Lla Koto are still having a superb season under Eymael.
The Belgian has given his team a realistic shot of challenging for the title despite narrowly avoiding relegation in 2016/17. As such, Mosimane believes the 58-year-old is a man whose coaching abilities need to be respected.
Speaking to reporters, he said: "Luc is a top coach. Everywhere he has been - at Polokwane City, Bloemfontein Celtic and now at Stars - he has left a legacy.
"If you look at the way Stars play, they are playing as a team. What is important for us is to pay respect to them but also win the game."
The 53-year-old added that Downs had learnt from last season's mistakes when they were pipped to the PSL championship by Bidvest Wits.
"Last year is a different story compared to now, but this year I can say we made sure we have enough personnel in the team," Mosimane said.