SuperSport United's Reneilwe Letsholonyane says Mamelodi Sundowns can never be written off
Posted: 13 April 2017 Time: 10:09
SuperSport United midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane refuses to read into Mamelodi Sundowns’ recent struggles ahead of their Absa Premiership fixture at Loftus Versfeld tonight.
The two sides, who have amassed 10 league titles between them over the last 20 years, meet in their first Tshwane derby of the season, with both sides' title credentials on the line as the season enter its business end.
SuperSport's last league outing saw them fall to a shock 1-0 loss to Baroka, which brought an end to their 19-game unbeaten run this season as they fell one short of breaking Kaizer Chiefs’ record two seasons ago.
Defending champions Sundowns, meanwhile, are on a five-game winless run in the league, after being held to a goalless stalemate at home to Bloemfontein Celtic last week, and have managed just one league goal since the end of February.
‘Yeye’, though, will not underestimate their city rivals and believes the Brazilians' results have not necessarily been a reflection of their quality or standard of performances.
“We’re playing a very good team who haven’t been getting good results but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been playing well,” Letsholonyane told reporters in the build-up to the clash.
“On any day they can beat any team, so we know that we’re playing a very good team and we respect them, but in saying that we are also working hard to try and win the game for obvious reasons – we also want to win the league.”
With The Brazilians having been involved in continuous domestic and continental action since the start of last season, the 34-year-old workhorse says fatigue is a real possibility at Chloorkop as Pitso Mosimane’s men aim to defend their league and CAF Champions League crowns this year.
“Fatigue is real and players do get tired. More so, sometimes it’s not physical but mental, and it’s difficult to deal with mental fatigue,” he added.
“I think we [SuperSport United] are fortunate that, though we don’t have such a big squad, our technical and medical team are trying harder to maintain the fitness level of our players and managing the loads.
“I wouldn’t want to comment much on other teams’ players, it’s up to them to point out whether they are tired or not, but, for me, we’re playing against a good team and they’ve been doing well."
Mosimane has repeatedly come out and publicly criticised their opposition for playing a negative brand of football, sitting back and waiting to catch Downs on the counter, while reiterating that Orlando Pirates are the only team that goes toe-to-toe with the African champions.
The former Kaizer Chiefs attacker says Matsatsantsa will stick to their own style and not change to try and match up to their opponents but believes if they are top of their game then they are an unstoppable outfit.
“We have our own style of [approach] and I don’t think our game is based on other teams because we also believe if we do what we need to in order to ensure SuperSport United do well," he said.
“If we give 100 percent there’s no team that will stop us. Why should we stop how we play based on how other teams are playing, we’ll gather information on how they play but we won’t change our own game,” he concluded.