Critical 11 days for Sundowns


However the coach is a little uneasy as a punishing schedule awaits the Brazilians in what is likely to be a testing month for him and his players. Sundowns will have to visit different cities in the country and beyond the borders as they campaign in the Absa Premiership, Caf Champions League and the Nedbank Cup.

The team will play four matches in a space of 11 days, travelling to Kinshasa to face AS Vita Club in the CAF Champions League this coming Sunday and on their return they're off to Polokwane for a league clash against Polokwane City next Wednesday night. Three days later they square off against Jomo Cosmos at home before hosting AS Vita six days after that. In between they also have to play the Nedbank Cup.

“It’s crucial now. We can’t afford a loss,” said Mosimane. “In Kinshasa, we need to get a good result and play smart. Polokwane won't be easy and Cosmos is a big game.

“I mean why those two games on top of one another? If the league can help us, remove one match. Keep one. We have to play four games in 11 days. This programme is not ideal.”

Sundowns advanced to the last eight of the Nedbank Cup after beating NFD outfit Mbombela United 3-1 on Saturday night.

Mosimane changed the team with the likes of Hlompho Kekana, Denis Onyango, and Leonardo Castro missing the match, and he handed Kennedy Mweene and Tiyani Mabunda rare starts.

“What I am happy about is that at least we scored three goals against a First Division team. The last time we were here in the semi-finals we scored one against Vasco. The other week we scored one against Highlands. There’s an improvement in the goals count.

“But it was not a free flowing Sundowns. You must also understand that when you have a lot of suspensions and injuries - we don’t have Kekana, Teko was down with flu, Castro had a baby born, Laffor is injured and so are Ngele and Zungu - you lose that fluidity. It was not about fluidity. It was about going through,” said Mosimane, whose men were given a run for their money by Mbombela.

“ We could have done much better. Yet there are positives. We gave Mubunda a chance. I am happy Malajila came back and scored a goal. I don’t know how long he has been out injured as he's been struggling. Kennedy played well.”

For the better part of this season, Mosimane has played a consistent team with few changes. Now circumstances are forcing him to chop and change in a quest to keep the team fresh for the three competitions. - The Star

Original source: Critical 11 days for Sundowns