Cape Town - Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler says it's possible the pressure of challenging for the title could have resulted in the 1-0 defeat to Maritzburg United on Monday.
City went into the match in KZN just one point off the top of the league standings after a 3-2 home win over Kaizer Chiefs the previous week.
But they were second best for most of the afternoon and barely managed to threaten the Maritzburg goal.
From a tactical or technical point of view, Tinkler says it's difficult to identify the exact reasons for his side's poor showing.
"I can't really point the finger at one person. Collectively we were very, very poor," he told the media after the game.
"Tactically, we were poor, decision making, we were poor, and I don't think it was Maritzburg putting us under pressure. I don't think Maritzburg's shape was good, we just didn't show up.
"For that, I must take responsibility because the (City) players looked very flat, we didn't look motivated, we panicked every time we got on the ball."
He feels it may be a mental issue his men are now facing.
"The minute we would start (to press) we gave the ball away to them, and that raises questions in my head, was it too much pressure leading up to this game, or did I not motivate them enough knowing that we've just come off a good result against Chiefs?"
City are two points behind pace-setters Bidvest Wits and must still play Free State Stars (this Friday at home), SuperSport (away), Golden Arrows (home) and Polokwane City (away).