Pitso Mosimane’s charges will be going all out to overturn the 1-0 loss they suffered at the hands of Chicken Inn in the first leg of CAF Champions League preliminary round in Bulawayo a fortnight ago. With the surprise victory Chicken Inn inflicted the first loss on the Brazilians in 19 games in all competitions.
Sundowns will not only be playing for their bruised egos but they will also be trying to save their Champions League dream, which hangs in the balance at the moment. Mosimane has made it no secret his desire to see a star above the Sundowns badge. That dream could remain just a dream if the Brazilians fail to shrug off the Zimbabwe side. Mosimane says it will boil down to the hunger of his players to take them to the group stages of the Champions League.
“It’s not up to me. It’s up to the guys. Do they really want it? Is it important? We need to show character, double efforts and without any complaints win against Chicken Inn. South Africa wants teams in the Champions League. Let’s go and fight,” said Mosimane, whose side host the Zimbabweans at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night. Mosimane feels the PSL calendar should be adjusted in order to help teams campaigning in the continental tournaments.
“We need to have a better plan for South Africa. South Africa must say ‘what do we do for clubs campaigning in Africa?’ Stop complaining coaches. What is the best solution for us? For me, it’s the cups. Move the cups to play during the week. I mean I think Nedbank, Telkom and MTN should understand. They have to play some of the games midweek and then free weekends so that we can have uniformity in terms of the games.
“It’s not for me to talk about the programme, some people will say focus on the coaching and stop talking about the programme but the programme affects the coaching by the way,” said the former Bafana Bafana coach.
With a goal lead, chances are Chicken Inn will be defensive mood as a draw could be enough for them to knockout Downs and advance. Mosimane is expecting the men from Bulawayo to park a bus.
“They play like what we saw against Golden Arrows. They have speedy attackers. They are quick and play off the mark. They will try and catch us on the counterattack. It’s a risky game. We need to bring the ball up. Obviously the bus is going to be parked, I can guarantee that one.
We need to try move and go around it. We need two goals to win. We need more resources. We need the right mentality. We need to push,” said Mosimane.
The six time PSL champions will welcome back playmaker Khama Billiat, who missed the first round due to injury. Billiat says the he and his teammates will fight with their all to defeat his countrymen.
“We are still in it. We will always give out best. Our best at the end of the day will always have something. We have to make sure we rectify the mistakes that we did in Zimbabwe.
Make sure that we don’t concede. We have to focus on playing our style of play, which is always successful. I am looking forward to it. I always want to play. I always want to contribute,” said Billiat.
Midweek Sundowns beat Mpumalang a Black Aces 2-1 to keep their lead at the summit of the Absa Premiership table at seven points, where they sit comfortably with 49 points.
Mosimane will count on Billiat, Keagan Dolly, Mzikayise Mashaba and Hlompho Kekana to inspire Sundowns to a much needed victory in the Champions League.
Original source: Chicken Inn, chicken out