Sun­downs must look at the big­ger pic­ture, says Mosi­mane

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MOHAU RAMSHIDJA

Mohau Ramashidja PITSO MOSI­MANE is way too ex­pe­ri­enced a coach to not al­low the emo­tions of the game to get to him. And it will be with this kind of at­ti­tude that he ex­pects his team to tackle their Caf Cham­pi­ons Group clash against Esper­ance de Tu­nis tonight (Kick-off 10pm).

The Mamelodi Sun­downs coach fondly re­ferred to as Jin­gles knows that de­feat out in Tu­nis could prove catas­trophic for their am­bi­tions to emerge as one of the top two sides from Group C.

In their first leg meeting, Sun­downs were sub­jected to a 2-1 de­feat by a tac­ti­cally sound Esper­ance side, a re­sult which saw them drop to third place with four points af­ter three matches.

A win in tonight’s en­counter will see them get their cam­paign back on track, with just two more games to go in the group phase.

Mosi­mane said qual­i­fy­ing for the last eight of the pre­mier con­ti­nen­tal club knock­out com­pe­ti­tion was a must for Sun­downs.

“You can­not af­ford to be too emo­tional with re­gards to what’s in front of you,” Mosi­mane said in an in­ter­view posted on Sun­downs’ of­fi­cial In­sta­gram ac­count.

“You must al­ways look at the big­ger pic­ture, and the big­ger pic­ture for us is to qual­ify for the last eight (of this con­ti­nen­tal com­pe­ti­tion). Hope­fully by then, we will have all of our play­ers back (from in­jury). If we do that (get too emo­tional) then we are go­ing to lose our plot. Our plot is to (fo­cus) on the whole group and make sure that we qual­ify for the quar­ter-fi­nal (stages of this com­pe­ti­tion).”

The good news for Mosi­mane is that he has two of his key play­ers who were in­jured avail­able for se­lec­tion. Both Hlom­pho Kekana and An­thony Laf­for have been de­clared fit to play and will most likely bring their A-game to help the reign­ing African cham­pi­ons bring back max­i­mum points from Tu­nisia.

Sun­downs will, how­ever, still be with­out the ser­vices of their two cen­tre-backs Wayne Arendse and Ri­cardo Nasci­mento as well as striker Khama Bil­liat, the three still nurs­ing nig­gling in­juries.

Such is Sun­downs’ strength in depth though that Mosi­mane should still be able to put out a strong side.

Mean­while Plat­inum Stars striker Bongi Ntuli hopes his side will come out with a win when they host CS Sfax­ien in their fourth Caf Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup group tie tonight at Royal Bafo­keng Sta­dium (Kick-off 7pm).

The cen­tre-for­ward knows that fail­ure to do so might lead to them miss­ing out on a spot in the knock­out stages of the com­pe­ti­tion, with two more games to go.

Dik­wena are cur­rently bot­tom of their group with just a point from three matches.

“Play­ing in the con­ti­nent has been an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all of us,” Ntuli said. “We just want to con­tinue play­ing here. To do that though, we need to win all our re­main­ing three group matches.

“If we can do that we will fin­ish within the top two, when the group fix­tures come to an end.”

Ntuli, who was loaned out to Dik­wena at the be­gin­ning of this past sea­son by Sun­downs, said he hasn’t heard any­thing from his mother club on whether they wanted him back at Chloorkop or not. How­ever,

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