Sun­downs boss gives Dutch coach thumbs up

Sunday World - - World Of Sport - Re­ports by KGOMOTSO SETHUSHA

MAMELODI Sun­downs boss Pa­trice Mot­sepe has re­it­er­ated his con­fi­dence in Jo­han Neeskens as the ideal man to re­verse years of un­der­achieve­ment at the club.

Although he down­played talk of cham­pi­onship vic­tory for his team this sea­son, Mot­sepe has em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of Neeskens to the fu­ture of Sun­downs.

Neeskens is the first coach in the club’s his­tory to sign a five-year con­tract when he joined the Brazil­ians, in what has been a to­ken of be­lief by the man known for his zero tol­er­ance of bad re­sults.

“He is the best coach we’ve ever had at Sun­downs and we must keep him here for as long as pos­si­ble,” said Mot­sepe.

The league re­mains the ul­ti­mate for the Brazil­ians this sea­son, though Mot­sepe has over the years re­it­er­ated his de­sire to con­quer the con­ti­nent.

Sit­ting pretty at the top, the Brazil­ians have emerged as favourites to cap­ture the Absa Pre­mier­ship this sea­son.

Vic­tory against strug­gling Jomo Cos­mos, who they host at Lof­tus Vers­feld this af­ter­noon (kick-off, 3.30pm), will see them tighten their grip at the top.

Sun­downs though, were far from con­vinc­ing in mid­week as they bat­tled to beat Amazulu 1-0.

Such un­con­vinc­ing per­for­mances make Mot­sepe un­will­ing to en­ter­tain talk of a cham­pi­onship ti­tle just yet.

“Be­ing top of the log in De­cem­ber means ab­so­lutely noth­ing,” Mot­sepe said. “What mat­ters is where you are at the end of the sea­son.

“Any of the top five teams have an op­por­tu­nity to win the league.”

The Tsh­wane gi­ants, how­ever, have a de­cent home record with four wins, one draw and two losses from seven matches.

How­ever, there is a path to be trav­elled to the Holy Grail, and whether Sun­downs ar­rive suc­cess­fully de­pends on how they per­form in the next four months.

Cos­mos, mean­while, have changed per­cep­tions about their des­ti­na­tion as they held Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-all draw in mid­week.

There is clearly light at the end of the tun­nel for Ezenkosi, as coach Jomo Sono re­it­er­ated af­ter a gutsy per­for­mance in Port El­iz­a­beth.

“It was dark and gloomy where we were, but the door is now open, we are get­ting out, we are turn­ing the corner,” said Sono.

While the likes of Elias Pelembe and Katlego Mphela bat­tled to break Usuthu, Cos­mos were in­spired by Mark Hask­ins, who will be ex­pected to play a key role for Ezenkosi this af­ter­noon. Le­bo­hang Mokoena will be key for Sun­downs.

Else­where to­day, Mar­itzburg United will be look­ing for con­sis­tency when they host Ajax Cape Town at Harry Gwala Sta­dium.

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