Pitso Mosimane coach of Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - Love him or loathe him, it seems like it will be a lifetime before Pitso Mosimane vacates his Mamelodi Sundowns coaching hot seat.

He was in his element again during a post-match press conference at the Orlando Stadium following the Brazilian’s walloping of Orlando Pirates, a 2-0 victory that kept the “heartbeat” of the Absa Premiership title race alive.

Asked what he thought of the likelihood that Sundowns may surrender the championship trophy to log leaders Bidvest Wits, who are three points clear with three matches remaining, Mosimane argued the Brazilians were no ordinary team.

“Maybe at the end of the season we won’t have anything to show for it, but rather than winning the league and the Nedbank Cup and claiming the double, I would rather win the CAF Champions League the Super Cup. I am happy,” Mosimane explained.

“I will not worry and look over my shoulder. The team can assess my performance, but we have created history by winning the Champions League and Super Cup last year.

"We also went to the Fifa Club World Cup.

"We have stretched the capacity of this team by putting a lot of mileage in terms of games played. When we were in Japan in December, below zero degrees, people were on the beach, resting and playing golf.

"In June last year, people were resting and we were playing Champions League.

"I give credit to my boys because I don’t think there is any team that can do what we have done in the last year.”

It’s no exaggeration to say Sundowns have put on some serious “mileage” in the last 11 months.

To date, Mosimane has been in charge of 59 games in all competitions since June last year and it is quite remarkable that, although the fate of the championship is in Wits’ hands, Sundowns could still retain their title if the Clever Boys drop points and they keep winning.

But Mosimane doesn’t want Sundowns compared to Wits - even if they are the new champions of the South African elite league.

“The reality is that no one can compete with that kind of schedule. Sure you can play against us and beat us (Wits beat Sundowns 1-0 last week to go top of the log), but put 59 matches there and lets see.

"It’s like taking your car to Polokwane everyday without a service, it will break down,” he said candidly. “But that one that is serviced goes there once a week and you claim your car is strong. No, its not strong.

"Wits don’t focus on the Champions League. They don’t care because they have a different objective than we have. It’s very difficult for us to compete with them because of that, but Sundowns is a bigger club.

"We have a bigger ambition. We are not competing with Wits in anything.

"No ways.

"We compete with Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, that’s it. We want to win on all fronts, and we are trying again this year.”

He may have ruffled a few feathers with those remarks, but before Sundowns were stretched by their Caf commitments a year ago, Mosimane’s side were run-away league leaders and clinched the trophy by an unprecedented 71 points, with two matches to spare and 14 points ahead of their nearest rivals, Wits.

“It was boring last year,” the Sundowns coach said. “If they win the league this year, lets accept it. They have done exceptionally well. But we know where we stumbled - we played 14 games more than them.”

Patrice Motsepe can’t send you packing after those kind of numbers, not that the thought had even crossed the mining magnate’s mind.

“I can’t worry about looking over my shoulder because once you do that as a coach you are in trouble. All the coaches are on the edge, remember? Everybody is on the edge as you never know,” Mosimane said.

Sundowns play on Wednesday night against struggling Baroka FC, before finishing the league season against Maritzburg United and Highlands Park in the next fortnight.

@superjourno

The Star

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