Pitso: Big clubs need big squads

Telkom Knockout

The Brazilians brought in as many as 16 players so far this year and Mosimane is not shy to defend that spending, saying big clubs like Sundowns and Orlando Pirates must always have quality back-up.

“Sometimes you guys say ‘ha ha ha, they are just signing players’, but we know,” the coach says. “I also thought so earlier but now I am in the space, I am in the area, I am in the team and I know the team’s expectations.

“You must see from the people who are in the final of the top 8 and are in the semi-finals of the Champions League that numbers are important at this level.

“Thami Sangweni is injured, [Tiyani] Mabunda just came back this week, the goalkeeper Glenn [Verbauwhede] from Belgium is injured, [Rodney] Ramagalela …the poor guy hasn’t even touched a ball this season and you haven’t even seen him on the pitch.

“Punch [Masenamela] just came back from injury, Esrom [Nyandoro] has been injured and came back slowly last week. Cheeseboy [Lebohang Mokoena] is back after we had rushed him a bit earlier against Platinum Stars when he was not ready. Anthony Laffor just came back last week.

“So this is like nine players that have been struggling with injuries. If you have nine players injured and you are at Sundowns, Chiefs and Pirates and you don’t have back-up, what is going to happen? You will have a problem.

“That is why Pirates can roll and move on without [Siyabonga] Sangweni, [Patrick] Phungwayo or Andile [Jali] ... they can have six out, but still be able to move on and that is why they reached the Final of the top 8 and they are also in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

“If you have up to nine players out, how will you be able to roll players if you don't have the replacements? Sometimes you guys think we are just signing players, but when you are in this space you will know better.”

Mosimane adds that he had input in bringing in all the players that the club signed and remains totally in control in his duties as head coach at Chloorkop.

“I always make the team and even at Bafana I made the team, otherwise why have me here? Otherwise you don’t respect my 13 years as a professional if I am not in a position to make the team.

“I have been given space at Sundowns, I have been given respect and I have been given direction at Sundowns and I know the expectations…I am trying to reach those expectations,” he adds.