Pitso: I'm not coaching for tomorrow
Posted: 5 September 2018 Time: 16:40
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is not fretting over his side’s exit from two competitions within the same week, insisting they still have plenty to play for this season.
Sundowns were last week surprisingly dumped out of the CAF Champions League at the group stage for the first time in the last three years, before also surrendering a MTN8 final berth to Cape Town City five days later.
The Brazilians seem to be going through a transition phase following the departure of several key players in recent years, such as Bongani Zungu, Keagan Dolly, Khama Billiat and Percy Tau.
Mosimane has since downplayed their shortcomings and welcomes the lessons that will be learnt along the way, as he fixes his eyes on the club’s long-term success rather than the present.
“Remember that when you lose a game, you learn some things. It also builds the team’s character and you’ve got to give it time to settle,” Mosimane said, according to his club’s website.
“I would rather be in this position of playing in the group stage of the Champions League and semi-finals of the MTN8 than not to be where I am now.
“To be playing where we are in the Champions League, you’ve got to win the league. It’s okay, as I told you the last time that we are still babies in the Champions League.
“You come to the MTN8 and lose in the semifinals, it’s okay. It’s not right that you lost but the team must play and it must get the stress.
“The team must experience this situation of being in a low and you come out of it because that’s part of football. Sometimes you lose, but you learn from the mistakes.
“It’s better when you lose like this than to say, ‘We were 2-0 up and we could have wrapped it up’, or ‘We were 1-0 up and could have wrapped it up’.’”
The Absa Premiership champions have endured a four-game goal drought, with new signings Jose Ali Meza, Toni Silva, Lebogang Maboe as well as Jeremy Brockie all still finding their feet at the club.
However, the former Bafana Bafana mentor is under no illusions and is aware that things can take time, and thus is confident they will make something of the four trophies left on offer this season – the Telkom Knockout, Champions League, domestic league and the Nedbank Cup.
“I like to go forward. The team must play, we must try and win. We are in it for the long haul. We are still going to lose another semifinal as long as we are in football,” he stressed.
“There’s still a lot to play for. There are four competitions remaining. I am not saying that we are going to win all four but you keep going. That’s football. You aren’t going to get everything.
“Let’s wait for the team to settle. Let’s wait for the combination of Ali Mezza and Toni Silva to settle. Let me incorporate Lebogang Maboe in this programme.
“Phakamani Mahlambi also still needs to come in. Mosa Lebusa played well against Cape Town City. I am not coaching for tomorrow, one match. I am here for the long haul.”