The Citizen (KZN)

Pitso’s Sundowns are clearly feeling the pace

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We are starting to see the effects of playing too many games in a short period of time taking its toll on Mamelodi Sundowns’ players. If you look at the injuries they have been sustaining recently, it is down to the fact that their players are now suffering from sheer overwork. This also affects the sharpness of the players.

When you look at the likes of Khama Billiat and Percy Tau, you can see they are trying their best but the body is no longer at that level whereby they can execute anything in an effective manner. I used to experience the same thing and I said to myself I would keep on working hard. But when the body is tired, your decision-making will suffer and you will always be late in your reactions.

Some of the players really need to rest, but unfortunat­ely due to the injuries Sundowns are faced with, they are forced to continue with players that need to be rested.

After Golden Arrows knocked them out of the Nedbank Cup, I wouldn’t necessaril­y say their eliminatio­n was a blessing in disguise, because Sundowns still have games to play in the form of catching up in the league.

They have two games in six days against SuperSport United, it will be very crucial that they win at least one of those games. If they fail to win either of these, then their chances of retaining the league will become difficult, because there are a lot of teams who have played more games but have more points.

This is when you need character to grind out the results and get the points, whereby you don’t have to play beautiful football, but have to make sure that you get the results if you are not playing the quality football that you need. Pitso Mosimane needs to employ a different strategy.

Moving on to other results in the Nedbank Cup, it was really refreshing to see an ABC Motsepe League team in the form of Acornbush United playing in that manner against Kaizer Chiefs. Looking at the organisati­on in their team, it was impressive to see them maintainin­g the shape defensivel­y.

They have structure and their work-rate was impressive. One can only hope that if our clubs continue to be coached in that manner, our football can go far.

Coach MacDonald Makhubedu stole the show after the game when he launched an attack on the state of South African football. Those are things that have been echoed by many ex-national team coaches. We need to prepare our players for the national side. I still remember when Mosimane was Bafana head coach, he mentioned that teams needed to prepare players for the national team because at national team level we do not have time to work on the basics. Shakes Mashaba also spoke on the same thing, and Stuart Baxter as well.

I do not think it was the right platform for Makhubedu, as a coach, to vent in that fashion, although the points he made were valid.

What I am really against is how he lambasted Chiefs. I don’t condone attacking your colleague and attacking the team on a media platform – saying their signings were bad.

That is what he was literally saying. It was not the right platform for him as a coach to go out and vent his frustratio­n, but generally, in terms of us having a challenge at national team level, he was spot on.

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