Mamelodi Sundowns will renew hostilities with Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout after the two sides were drawn against each other in the opening round.
The Brazilians’ coach was sitting next to his Celtic counterpart, Steve Komphela, at the draw in Randburg. The former Bafana Bafana teammates and friends embraced each other in reaction to the draw. But that friendly nature will end when the match kicks off at Lucas Moripe Stadium on the weekend of 19-21 October.
“It’s obviously going to be a difficult game,” Mosimane said. “Cup games are always a little bit of a problem for us. If you look at the top eight, it clashed with the Caf Champions League. You saw that we had different lineups when we played in Cape Town and home in the semifinal of the MTN8, that had an effect on the result.”
“The Telkom Knockout clashes with the Champions League that’s about to start in a few weeks’ time. That also has an effect on us. We are two games behind in the league in terms of our schedule and there are also international games. To play against a team that nearly won this competition last year, a revived team, will be difficult.”
“Coach Steve is showing that he’s been good all the time, irrespective of what happened at Kaizer Chiefs. He has done well and we couldn’t even beat them last week.”
Mosimane is hoping that his team will continue with their good run of delivering at least one trophy every year at Sundowns. This year they have already lifted the Absa Premiership, which they did in May. The Telkom Knockout is an opportunity to end the year on a good note.
“It’s good to be playing at home,” Mosimane said. “I like playing at home. You should understand the mentality of the game at home, our supporters love trophies. You can’t say that we’re prioritising the Champions League.”
“That would be a mistake. Our supporters would kill us if you say that. What’s important is to try and make them happy and keep going. The longer we keep going without a trophy, the more there will be trouble. If you have congested fixtures like Sundowns and you’re out of a cup, it frees you to concentrate on the league and the Champions League but we have a cup that everyone loves. Our team wants the cup and we want it. It has been the norm at Sundowns, that every year there must be a cup won ever since I have been here. There must be one to land, hopefully it’s this one.”