Coach Rulani: We Just Have to Make Sure that We Win the Title

Coach Rulani has admitted to being impressed by how his men trained this week and has backed them to emerge victorious when they conclude the 2023/24 season at the Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates at a sold-out Mbombela Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Brazilians secured a seventh successive DStv Premiership title at the weekend and will now look to secure the Nedbank Cup title on Saturday to complete the treble dream this season.

Looking ahead of what will be a mouthwatering clash against their Soweto-based counterparts, coach Rulani confidently stated that his charges have prepared enough for the encounter and will give it their all to ensure that they lift the silverware at the end of the 90 minutes.

“I was very excited that we had some training time. I haven’t had training time with these players and I enjoyed the last two training sessions. The quality, intensity and energy. We trained like a team that just lost a football match and I was very happy with the reaction, especially because we hardly trained this season. This week, I’ve been able to see the players do different things. I’ve been able to stimulate, try and stress them a little bit more. It’s been the biggest positive in having a neutral week,” he stated.

“We have to play and get the job done. It’s a cup final which is a completely different competition. We just have to make sure that we win the title, lift the trophy and finish the season on a high. This is what this group deserves and hopefully we can do that on Saturday,” he enthusiastically continued.

Sharing the news on injury updates, the Masandawana head coach stated it’s too soon to decide on who will be part of the squad. He said: “it’s too early to tell. There are a few concerns with the flu and one or two injuries but we will give it up until the last minute to make decisions because they are very important players for us.”

Coach Rulani concluded by stating that he anticipates a good game of football due to the magnitude of the two sides that are meeting.

“I think it’s just the magnitude of the clubs and the profiling of the players. You are bound to have a great match. In a football match you need three good teams and I know that we will have one good team that is very prepared. I’m 100% sure that we will be ready and I hope the other teams are just as ready to play the right curtain raiser for what has been a very good season.”

Mamelodi Sundowns will clash against Orlando Pirates at the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday afternoon at Mbombela Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 15H00, live on SuperSport TV and SABC Sports.

20 Responses
  1. Mfana

    The problem with u is you like to put the cart/wagon before your horses and expect a miracle afterwards.You like to come with a complicated lineup and individuals who run like headless chicken or rather aimless runs ,then u pretend 2 b not the cause of that.You don’t want to buy central defenders and strikers &collect a bunch of midfielders who take forever to adjust at Sundowns.There’s Cupido at C Twn Spurs &Ighordaro who’s on loan at Supersport but instead u just brought 2 midfielders from other teams.To say the least today I don’t know what to expect bcoz my coach u don’t know how 2 approach a cup game at all.After the game once results become negative u wl b telling us that u r 37 years.

    1. Soso

      Will see , I’m just not impressed with so many mistakes .

      Besides this game ,I don’t see us winning Campions league next season with these players that commit school boy errors in each and every crucial game .

      I’m sorry to say ,we have along way to go .

      1. Dalom

        I fully concur with you Soso. We don’t have quality players, only quantity and I’ve been crying about this issue for a very longtime. The players we’ve been buying recently don’t really make any sense and the coach should take responsibility. If we can’t sign quality players, then we need to promote from our development. With the resources Motsepe is pouring into the team, we were supposed to be totally dominating our football.

  2. Downs4ever

    The team is playing nonsense because of Rulani’s nonsense style of play.Now I understand why buy strikes because 90% of play is at the back,with Williams as the chief culprit. We are going nowhere with this arrogant coach.

  3. Muzi Kunene

    Before I voice my opinion on our team,firstly the penalty should have been retaken since the goalkeeper of Pirates came out the line before it was taken secondly to me their penalty was too softly Modiba didn’t do anything wrong to Maswaangayi.
    To our team Rhulani got it wrong he should have put Matthews together with Mendieta and sacrifice Mokoena Aubaas.
    To our coach even Downs have youngsters like Mabena,Letlhaku etc.

    1. Dalom

      Yes Muzi, we all saw that, and complaining about it won’t change anything. Only other teams are allowed to complain and make noise when they feel we’ve robbed them. I also wished we could miss the penalty as I hate winning like that, and thanx God we did. I thought Chaine also received a 2nd yellow card, unless if DStv misled us. The referee’s decisions were just going against us all of them, and our players were just being booked for every foul. I’m one of the supporters who’re saying we’ll never improve our football as long as Rhulani is a coach.

  4. Moripi

    We really need two good strikers. When was the last time we scored more than 1 goal in the game, we really struggling.

  5. Downs4ever

    I told to start crying after City games.Rulani is obsessed with beautiful football when football is only won by goals,he is saying it was only one team in the pitch and that we controlled the game but the stats show that Pirates dominated all the goals attempt and even the corners.H said the reason why Mabena is not playing regularly is because he’s making lots of mistakes yet the grownups like Mavala and Maema losses many balls yet they are forever on the team.We lost last weekend and today and the scores are players under 20.Barcelona’s Lamin Lamal scored a goal for Spain national team at age 16.Our coach plays age and favouritism.Zungu made many mistakes today and Williams makes lots of mistakes every game,you can’t tolerate mistakes of players who are about to retire over the young players.We only scored because of Costa’s individual brilliance not because we created decent chances.I want to see which cup is he going to get for dominating the game.I think we are leading team with the average age of 30 plus.

  6. Muzi Kunene

    The problem started with our chameleon football and our coach needs to be reminded that it’s not yielding results and our coach will keep on saying everybody makes mistakes and I wonder for how long.
    Coming to our injured players we are always being told of many stages they’re in especially AB and de Reuck but to AB is being punished for that mistake he made in our league game against Pirates after that we were told he’s injured.
    Mina really I don’t see Rhulani taking us forward because he doesn’t want to change his arrogance even next season on Champs League it will be like this,guys did you saw a referee book Chaine twice but he wasn’t sent off and if it that booking was supposed to be given to Sesane for pushing Zwane outside the pitch he himself should have walked because it was a second Yellow.

  7. Skhumba

    I concur with you me!! I think Rhulani is struggling with games of consequences!! I feel he still learning and experimenting with a lot of things!! His starting lineup left a lot to be desired!! How can he start with so many defensive midfielders? To be honest even my self I don’t see him taking us forward from here!! It seems he has reached his ceiling!! We must just forget the caf champions league if he is the one still coaching the team next year!! His other weekness is the problem of favvourism!! Rushine can play better than Mvala in the Centre back position but has freezed out of the team!!

  8. Thatoh

    The problem is we like fixing when not broken, even if we win 5-1 it will be changed the next game, today is this one tomorrow is that one. These days it’s a miracle to even score 2 goals, worse to even come back from a goal, our coach is so stuck up with his plan even when it’s not working, I am honestly not expecting any different or better next season, considering how we ended this season, we don’t seem to be learning anything from previous encounters, we will be saying the same annoying statement “we will take the lessons learned” but do you actually learn?

  9. Downs4ever

    Thatoh this is the reason why I said the coach is working against us not for us,when he took over we were hammering teams then he saw the team is doing very well he decided his nonsense of building from the back that is were we started to struggle to score.I don’t recall Downs going to penalties with a lower division team,someone remind me.We spent millions signing players only to bench them when we have development players who doing very well.If you sign a player and bench him for 90 minutes in such a crucial game means you don’t need him.No we want to sign Adams for millions when we can have faith in Tando Nkosi and Buthelezi.Our management is also helping Rulani to destroy our team,I was surprised when we signed a 35 year old Ralani when the team is stable and number one on the log,we also didn’t have to sign ill discipline Lorch,I’m they spent more than 20 million on him.I still maintain you can’t spent millions on development and also spent millions signing old players.Our management doesn’t learn we wasted millions on the likes of Manyisa,Brockie,Tade the list goes on and still continuing with the same mistakes.Whoever is approving the signing of players needs to introspection,we are the only team who doesn’t give our young players fair chance.Truly speaking we didn’t have to sign Mendieta when we have Maboe and the loaned Phewa hence I always say Rulani plays age instead of talent.We are going to lose good young players and spend millions to sign them back.Word of advice to management stop wasting millions on signing old players in the name on wanting to win champions league and focus on development because you only managed to win the league which we won 4 times more any team in the league without spending those millions,it’s no working and not worth it.We just need only a right coach who plays positive football ball no passive football.A coach can tell us there was only one team in the pitch when our keeper made more crucial saves than the opposing keeper,that also shows that Williams is a shot stopper not a ball player hence he makes many mistakes when trying to something he’s not,ball player.

  10. Makhosonke

    Rulani will never beat Pirates not because he is not capable but because he is a Pirates supporter and he said he graw up supporting them, we must remember his words when he was joining Pirates… He gave them MTN 8 and now he gave them Nedbank cup… He is a criminal on that… Yes he is a best and good coach and have a soft spot for Pirates as iTeam yasekhaya kubo…

    1. Makhosonke

      Mlandeli I think he signed good players from S America except Mendiat, Mendy is a floop player.. Rulani must just know how to use his players, stop favoritism because it’s clear he love Zungu, Lorch, Devin and Nku…. And he must know when to do experiments because on other important games he play with one center back, on other game he used Kekane alone even he sees that a guy is pulling heavy, next time he will play without striker, last he puts lot of defensive mid fielders… He must learn to work with others… We love him we must go with him to Club World cup.. But please don’t turn your to Manqobas when you see Pep there because you behave strange at times.. Don’t tell us about your age we trophies because they buy every players you want abakubuzi iAge

  11. Sbedula

    Hi masandawana, I’m disappointed about yesterday results not only that we lost but the way play, we need a striker number 9 and Rulani need to stop destroying our beloved team.

  12. Makhosonke

    Rulani sold that game to his team Pirates, washo kuthi ukhule vele ayithanda, and iTeam yakubo…. We won’t win any trophy against Pirates watch the space, he first gave them MTN8

  13. Dalom

    I think we should also blame management for giving him the sole coaching responsibility, for 4 years nogal. Honestly speaking, I was not even optimistic of our chances of winning the Nedbank Cup before the game. Management is building and destroying the team at the same time. The players we’re signing lately are just average, including those South Americans except for Ribeiro, but he’s forever injured. They need to invest on getting Nasir back into good condition, but alas, the focus is on these overrated South Americans.

  14. Muzi Kunene

    Coach pls after you finished looking yourself on the mirror as you said yesterday pls do an hournarable thing just resign before end of this week.
    Really you destroyed our beautiful football with I don’t know what to call this type of soccer we are playing nowadays,if you’re not invincible obsessed Shalulile would have played yesterday but you kept on fielding him even after we already won the league together with Coetze.
    Few weeks you said you can’t field Esquivel because he doesn’t show you the willingness of playing even when the players sings he doesn’t sing and my question did we brought him here in SA to sing or playing and the poor guy doesn’t even understand our African languages.
    We have been crying about unleashing youngsters not only include them in the practice and gym but play them hope Mofokeng proved you that our future lies in youth not this expensive players you always wanted now you want Adams why don’t you groom yours instead of wasting our money,lastly you kept on saying you are friends with every players at Downs but I beg to differ because others are making mistakes continously but you keep on fielding them,those you don’t like we always hear player so and so is on stage three,two etc.
    You keep on saying we were better team yesterday but the trophy as we speak is at Parktown what you left with is possession football that you being praised with even in North Africa without the trophies.

    Hope Thlopie will relieved you before the end of this week so that we can start from scratch and abolished that boring backpasses and too many slow build ups that are not hurting the opponents.


    Members we played like there is second leg next to week,i always say we play for ball possession not for a win,scoring more than a goal is like Christmas to us.He told us he models his game with that of Brighton,i think Brighton didn’t even qualify for Conference cup be cause their system is not working.God gave us brains to think and come with new ideas not to copy others,we are South Africans and have our own style of play and now i understand why Manqoba told players that this is not England in Rulani’s absence.My son has one pedi name he once why don’t i have an English name like other kids, and my response was, you are not white and whites people also don’t have black people’s names simply because they are whites they don’t have to copy us.We have our own style of play let us revert back to it.I think we must give our coaches a mandate of promoting at least two players per season and that one play regularly be cause we sign expensive,old and ordinary players who are are only better to our development players by age.

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