Pitso targets extended Cup runComment on this story
Johannesburg – Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has warned his troops against complacency ahead of their Nedbank Cup first round tie away to Ajax Cape Town on Friday evening.
Mosimane's men have been in fine form, extending their unbeaten Premiership run to 10 straight games when the Pretoria outfit played to a 1-1 draw with Golden Arrows in Pretoria this week.
The former Bafana Bafana boss is also unbeaten in all six games in charge of the former league champions, having taken over the reins following the sacking of Dutchman Johan Neeskens at the beginning of December last year.
“If you ask anybody whether they think they have a chance to win the Nedbank Cup, I think they all feel there is a chance to win the trophy,” Mosimane said.
“We are going for it. You never know what is going to happen, it's a cup game and we all know cup games are totally different.
“We are playing against a Premiership team, so we need to concentrate a little bit, come down to earth and do things right.
“So we need to attack. We have the players to play, so let's play.”
The Brazilians started the new year with a goalless draw against Kaizer Chiefs, before thumping Maritzburg United 3-0 last week, but Mosimane said the stalemate with Arrows could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
“We have to dig deeper. Maybe in a positive way, it's good for us to come down a little bit and face reality,” he said.
“It's good that we played too well against Maritzburg. Sometimes you play too well and you think you have arrived when you have not.
“Two draws in the league against Chiefs and Arrows is not good enough, we need a victory but it looks good from the outside because we are bringing results.”
Shifting his attention to the knockout competition – which the Brazilians have won only once, in 2008 – Mosimane was optimistic about his side's chances, based on their recent away form.
“The team is playing well,” he said. “We play home and away, we dominate, so that's all you need.
“You need to dominate so that you can score and you can only score when you have the ball. You can't score when you are sitting back and you don't have the ball.
“I don't think anybody can say that our performance is not good. We just could not convert the chances that were there, but that's part of football.
“We play away (from home) and we do well. We went to Wits, we scored two goals, we went to Maritzburg and we scored three.”
Preferring not to look at statistics ahead of the all important clash, Mosimane said he paid little attention to the fact that Downs were unbeaten with the new coach at the helm.
“This unbeaten thing is just a record, just a statistic,” Mosimane explained.
“We must win our games. If we play at home, we must win, that's it.”
Nedbank Cup weekend fixtures
Friday: Ajax Cape Town v Mamelodi Sundowns (Cape Town Stadium)
Saturday: Maluti FET College v Orlando Pirates (Charles Mopeli Stadium), United FC v Chippa United (Moruleng Stadium), SuperSport United v Moroka Swallows (Lucas Moripe Stadium), University of Pretoria v Maritzburg United (Tuks Stadium), Wits v Kaizer Chiefs (Mbombela Stadium), Vardos FC v Golden Arrows (Makhulong Stadium)
Sunday: Island FC v Polokwane City (Ulundi Stadium), Free State Stars v Witbank Spurs (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Dynamos v Platinum Stars (Giyani Stadium), Bloemfontein Celtic v Milano United AFC (Free State Stadium), Mbombela United v Vasco Da Gama (Kanyamazane Stadium), Magesi FC v Jomo Cosmos (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium) – Sapa