'Downs must prioritise this season'

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iol spt feb11 Pitso Gallo Images Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane admits its impossible for teams to fully commit to all four domestic tournaments. Photo: Lefty Shivambu

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane concedes, it is impossible for South African teams to fully commit to competing for all four domestic tournaments in the season.

Sundowns have a busy schedule ahead of them in the coming months and have the added hurdle of the Caf Champions League, bringing the total number of competitions to five for the defending Premiership champions.

“You must learn from experience and from facts, not from what you want in your head,” Mosimane said at the team’s headquarters on Tuesday.

“The experience I’ve got is that you can do well in all the competitions and maybe you can win one.

“You can go for all the competitions and try to compete and you win nothing.”

As a result, Mosimane admits the Premiership, as well as the Champions League, will be prioritised this season.

This suggests that the club would pay less attention towards the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup.

“For us, it was the league last season… not to say that we didn’t want to win the Nedbank Cup, or the Telkom Knockout, but it didn’t go well for us [in the cup competitions],” Mosimane added.

“Really, the priority is the Champions League and to retain the league. But you can’t say that you don’t want to win the MTN8.

“We will do our best and see how it goes, but what is key is for us to protect the league and to do well in the Champions League. Let’s be honest, those are the most prestigious.”

The Champions League poses new challenges for his group of players, and Mosimane wants to learn from fellow South African club Orlando Pirates.

“In my opinion, Pirates are the best team in the country and how do you measure that? It’s on the field.

“They’ve got a star (representing an African title), and that’s big and they’ve won so many titles. We need to copy them.

“We hope to put a star there so that we can also try and compare properly ourselves to Pirates.”

Pirates lost 2-0 to Al Ahly in the final last year and narrowly missed out on adding a second African title to go with their triumph in 1995.

But Mosimane was also quick to point out that Sundowns had to learn from Pirates’ shortfalls in their quest for continental glory, prompting the former Bafana Bafana coach to justify the club’s recent spending spree.

“We have learnt that we need numbers. At one stage Pirates, in the Champions League, had six players out and they carried on and they managed to reach the final with six players out.

“They had players behind to replace [the injured ones]. That’s what we did now. We made sure that we have enough numbers in case those situations arrive.”

Mosimane has sanctioned moves for Lindokuhle Mbatha (Platinum Stars), Rheece Evans, Mario Booysen (both Maritzburg United), Bongi Ntuli (Golden Arrows), Asavela Mbekile (Moroka Swallows) and Mame Niang (SuperSport United) in an attempt to ensure the club has enough firepower to sustain their lofty ambitions.

Sapa



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