Mokwena was invited by head coach Stuart Baxter to join the South African technical committee for next week’s four nations tournament in Zambia, with the young assistant clearly impressing at Mayfair following his move from Pretoria giants Mamelodi Sundowns.
“Micho” admits the timing of Mokwena’s ‘call-up’, at this stage of the season, is not ideal, but insists he’s happy for his second-in-command, who he feels will gain valuable experience with Bafana.
“I would tell you that that call-up‚ with all due respect‚ has come at the wrong time for us‚” Sredojevic said.
“Because (it affects) us keeping total peace and concentration‚ which we try to keep.
“But we are extremely happy that coach Rhulani will be part of the [Bafana] technical team in tournament in Zambia.
“I believe that he will give a huge contribution and also he will be able to see and upgrade himself in those few days.”
Innocent Maela and Thembinkosi Lorch are the two Buccaneers called up for the national team ahead of Bafana’s tournament-opener against Angola on Thursday, with in-form Luvuyo Memela surprisingly excluded from the squad.
The latter did not feature in Wednesday’s loss against the Citizens, with Sredojevic explaining his absence.
“We played in a friendly game on Saturday‚ because we needed to have an artificial way of keeping competitiveness‚” Sredojevic said. “Our opponents had a competitive way of doing that‚ playing against the team from Mozambique [Costa Do Sol, in the Caf Confederation Cup].
“And in that friendly Memela got a knock. We pulled him out immediately as a prevention, and unfortunately he could not pass a late fitness test.
“This game meant so much to us, so, so much. However, there is no game that is bigger than the career of a player, so we could not put him in against City if he could not give us the service we expected from him.”
Sredojevic will hope his charges will bounce back swiftly from their Nedbank Cup defeat as they prepare to take on Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership encounter on Saturday.
Kick-off at Princess Magogo Stadium is set for 20h15.