We Feel That We Are Strong Enough to Win the Game with the Squad That We Have – Coach Rulani

Dominant Mamelodi Sundowns return to DStv Premiership action after the festive break and they begin their 2024 campaign with a mouthwatering tussle against rivals Orlando Pirates on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld.

Masandawana ended the year 2023 with a draw against Polokwane City at home and remain unbeaten in the DStv Premiership campaign. The first placed Downs, who are two games behind, will be looking to start the new year on a high note after the work they have done at their recent camp. Coach Rulani stated that his side anticipates a difficult encounter against the Soweto-based side.

“The break was good for us. The mini mid-season camp was very good. We worked on a couple of things we want to improve in the second half of the season. We know how difficult the game is going to be. It’s always difficult after such a long period of rest. We have not had all our players for every single training session at the same time, which makes it a little bit complicated, but we have a very good squad and a lot of very good players in every possession. We feel that we are strong enough to be able to win the game with the squad that we have,” the head coach stated.

“We know how difficult it’s going to be on Saturday. We are playing against a very good side and we have to make sure that we are at our best, not just in a tactical perspective but also emotionally and maybe even psychologically too, to make sure that we give a great performance,” he continued.

The Brazilians might go without a few players on Sunday, who took part in the African Cup of Nations, where the South African National Team bagged the bronze medal. Coach Rulani gave an injury update on the players and mentioned that the team might go into a few encounters without them.

“I think with the Bafana Bafana players we have a few concerns. We’ve got a couple of players that came back with injuries and that might delay their return because we now have to deal with their rehabilitation. We have some concerns with Mothobi Mvala, Thapelo Maseko, Themba Zwane, Teboho Mokoena, Khuliso Mudau and Ronwen Williams. They now have to start with regeneration and the rehabilitation phase because they have to flush out the stress and the pressures of a tournament of that magnitude. Psychologically there needs to be some work done so they are ready to be competitive again,” he said.

The Johannesburg-born tactician concluded by giving an update on the new signings. He expressed his pride and excitement of having them in the team and the work they have done so far.

“The new signings are settling well. Tashreeq Matthews came in with some concerns but he is training well and is now getting better and stronger. Matías Esquivel’s adaptation is a little bit difficult for him because of the language barrier. He has a completely different way of playing and you can expect very good things from him once he’s settled. Zuko Mdunyelwa is very good. I have been surprised by him especially from a physical perspective. He is a good footballer too and learns very quickly. You’ll see some of the new players gaining some game time in the upcoming matches.”

Mamelodi Sundowns do battle Orlando Pirates on Saturday evening at Loftus Versfeld. Kick-off is scheduled for 20H00 live on SuperSport TV.

6 Responses
  1. Ayanda

    Ndzandzeka is an agent and criminal that one whenever he officiates Sundowns matches he always stills the show. HE let pirates players kick our players hwen ours retaliate he gives them yellow cards , the ball that led to a penulty was kicked outside the corner box, also the next one after that one , yet the assistant ref was there.
    Ndzandzeka likes to give our players yellow cards .

  2. Boh

    Masandawana what I’ve learned yesterday about my team…we have a lot of players but…most of them can’t give us anything!!..you can’t count on them..at all for anything coaching is not easy at all…my team had no plan..I could not see any identity of Sundowns …we were all over the field..really un coachable..if something like that exists…I felt sorry for Rhulan….Bafwe2 not a single combination…just playing soccer…yes Pirates were kicking them..but..we never looked the part..when we have the ball….the red card..finished us…we were exposed that no plan here….coach ending up..throwing anyone who’s warming up…forgetting players are not ignorant they can see your preference…now you want me to..redeem your name…I totally blame coaching stuff by starting Nyoso before others on the bench…it’s a message that..it’s not hard work..that gives u a nord but..coaches decide what he wants….I can not say..what works..since it..didn’t work..shuthi it’s favoritism…if it works surely it is good eye sight of the game……please apologize to the senior players..this will cost you..dressing room..sooner than later…it’s a first game but..Pirates looked the part…they were not scared intimidating us..at home…this is how African countries bully us..here..e Pitori….I’m totally disappointed….if coach you read this..without being emotionally…you’ll see my point of order…..it was a tough one for you….

  3. Boh

    Ndzandzeka..Ayanda was on a mission..I totally agree with you…listen this is how we win the league…the man in the middle was doing a Victor Gomez on us….as always….I don’t want to focus on his…in Africa we have Victor’s in our most games..outside…so we need a reminder of that..but..against all odds..we are Sundowns …this thing of saying even Mancity didn’t win yesterday doesn’t help us..but comforting ignorance about our bad performance…and we won’t see a need to wake up…and show off…look at the stadium packed….no..Justice was not done

  4. Downs4ever

    Coach got it all wrong by starting with Lorch,he put him under unnecessary pressure.Our coach makes football difficult for our players.He plays natural central defender Boutuoil as a left back and natural left back Lunga as a centre back even though Lunga had an excellent game,what our does is like putting a tyre of a truck on a Ferrari and expect it to win a race against cars racing with their perfect tyres.Williams played nonsense,he was giving away the ball cheaply,you can’t pass the ball in the middle because when intercepted the opponent is clear on goals.Masandawana make me understand,how can we concede a corner that lead to a goal when we were in possession of a ball?

    1. Boh

      Downs4ever….the way you say it..is what exactly I saw..this..game..already we played with bench warmers…buy.. still coach is experimenting…

  5. Mfana

    We are having the best,most sophisticated coaches in Africa.But Rhulani’s problem could b his age and sometimes he becomes impulsive I mean really how does Lorch starts the game.Boutouil is a natural centre back if what he is doing on the left back chasing speedy wingers only Mokwena has an answer.I mean the boy provides nothing except 8 yellow cards and 2 suspensions in less than 16 games in the league,which means every 2nd game this boy receives a yellow card..So the boy must be hated playing in wrong position when Sundowns is having 4 left backs.Wow Rhulani is the cleverest person but chooses 2 b the league’s most naive &foolish coach.Bt on a game itself Sundowns was very sluggish &Pirates better prepared than us.About officiating &robust tackling we r starting 2 c hatred & rivalry at its best &Pirates didn’t fold their arms &absorb the pressure.By the time goes on Sundowns will get back their MOJO.