JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane hit out at his players, accusing them of lacking integrity and suggested that maybe their fans should boo them instead of singing with them, after yet another defeat.
Sundowns’ fans have transformed from the rowdy bunch they were into a supportive unit that passionately backs their team. Those fans sang their lungs out after the Brazilians lost 1-0 to Cape Town City at Loftus Versfeld in their last game of 2017.
They did the same thing at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday after the 3-2 loss to Polokwane City. Mosimane said, in the television interview he did straight after the match, that maybe their fans should boo the players. It didn’t end there as he also expressed his disap-pointment in the post-match press conference.
“I hope that this defeat is a wake-up call,” Mosimane said. “I was very angry with my players. (There was a) lack of integrity (in their performance).
"The second half was the worst I have seen since I came into the team. We should have wrapped up the match in the first half.”
The Brazilians’ lead at the top has been cut to just one point as second-placed Cape Town City collected maximum points in Phokeng against Platinum Stars. But Sundowns have a game in hand which they will play on Tuesday against Ajax Cape Town at Cape Town Stadium.
The Brazilians’ two back-to-back defeats have undone the good work they did before the end of the first half of the season having won six of the seven matches that preceded the loss to the Citizens.
“This is a funny season,” Mosimane said. “I have been around for many years but I have never seen anything like this. We have lost many games (five in 15 matches in the Absa Premiership) and that’s unlike us.
"Since I have been at Sundowns I don’t remember us losing six or seven league matches in a season, yet this was our fifth loss and we are only at the halfway mark. But it’s not about how many matches you win or lose. It’s about what’s going to happen at the end of the season.
"Hopefully we will stay on top. But we need to play to remain on top, and when I say play to remain on top I am not saying we don’t have a game plan I am saying that we need to be mentally stronger. But sometimes defeats like this are a wake-up call. Let’s see. Maybe they will respond better against Ajax. That’s when you see the character of the team.”
This month will test Sundowns’ mental strength as they host Orlando Pirates on Saturday after visiting Ajax. Their former hoodoo team, Platinum Stars, follows after Pirates before they end January against their biggest rivals Kaizer Chiefs. If the Brazilians are still at the summit after these matches, they will be confident of ending the season there to claim their eighth league title in the PSL-era.
“I am happy that I said this when we were winning and I am not saying it now just because we are losing, it’s not about where you are at the moment,” Mosimane said. “It’s about the process. Look after the process, the outcome will take care of itself. Yes we are on top but that doesn’t mean much at this stage. It helps when you have a big gap but we don’t have that luxury.”