Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane pleads with PSL, Shakes Mashaba to give players a rest
Posted: 28 August 2016 Time: 18:05
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane admits he faces a number of injury worries in the coming weeks and has pleaded with both the league and national team coach Shakes Mashaba to give his men a break.
Sundowns defeated SuperSport United 3-1 in their MTN8 quarterfinal on Sunday to set up a two-legged semifinal with Chippa United on the weekends of September 10/11 and 17/18.
But they will have to do without Colombian forward Leonardo Castro, who was forced off in the first half against SuperSport with an ankle injury and returned from hospital wearing a moon boot that signifies a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Key playmaker Keagan Dolly was also forced off late in the game clutching his hamstring.
Mosimane says he can cope in the domestic competitions with his squad depth, but does could now be short in the Champions League semifinal against Zesco United with new signings Sibusiso Vilakazi and Yannick Zakri not registered for that competition. Cuthbert Malajila has also recently left for BidVest Wits.
“My worry now is on injuries,” Mosimane told SuperSport TV. “Leo [Castro] is out. We will manage with Leo being out in the local league, because we have got Vilakazi now and we have got Zakri. But when we go to Champions League we have a problem.
“We are playing two semifinals [in the MTN8] and in between there is a league game [at Maritzburg United]. In between the Champions League [semifinals] there is also a league game. So maybe the league will help us and remove the game [at home to Platinum Stars] in between the semifinals of the Champions League. I mean, it’s for the nation!”
Mosimane also pleaded with Mashaba not to use his players during the international break. Dolly, Tebogo Langerman, Hlompho Kekana and Vilakazi are all in the Bafana Bafana squad.
“We hope Bra Shakes will be lenient towards us. It’s a friendly game against Egypt and against Mauritania, it’s a dead rubber [in the African Champions League]. Let’s be honest, if you win or you don’t win [it doesn’t matter].
“And Gordon [Igesund] did it also, he never selected Pirates players [in 2013]. So I hope Bra Shakes will also understand.”
Mosimane admits his side had to battle hard to beat SuperSport.
“We didn’t start very well, the first 15 minutes we couldn’t get in the game. They were stronger and were bullying us. And the pitch did not help us to play our normal game on the ground, you can see it is a little bit bouncy,” he said.
“We played a good team, SuperSport are strong. Stuart [Baxter] is a top coach, I have high respect for him.