JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach, Pitso Mosimane, is under no illusions about what the Brazilians need to do on Friday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium against AS Togo-Port.
Sundowns have just collected two points from their first three games in the group stage of the Caf Champions League. This is their worst start in the group stage since conquering the continent two years ago. But what’s made the situation look better than it is is that Sundowns are just three points behind Wydad Casablanca and Horoya who sit in first and second place respectively with five points each.
“This is a must-win, nothing else,” Mosimane said. “Win or go home. That’s it. It’s as simple as that because if you don’t win you then start wishing that so-and-so does you a favour because it’s no longer in your hands. It’s in our hands. Wydad has to host Horoya and not many people come out alive in Casablanca. We’re hoping that Wydad wins, we win and then we can sort things out against Horoya here.”
The Brazilians will host the Togolese side and Horoya with their only away match remaining being a trip to Morocco to take on Wydad. Starting this slow in the Champions League group stage is an unfamiliar act for Sundowns under Mosimane. But Jingles has seen this act a lot in the domestic league. Sundowns tend to start slow, gain momentum and then respond strongly when they have their backs against the wall.
“We wait for that (until we’re under pressure),” Mosimane said. “We wait until the situation is tough before we turn up. Even when we won the league, there was a time where we were eight points clear but we waited for (Orlando) Pirates to be three points behind us before we started playing. That’s when we say that the guys are here so let’s go.
"I hope that we lose that mindset. Even in the league we’re slow starters. We’re always No. 8 and then we start to move up. Hopefully we don’t have that start. I hope that we start well. I would love to win the top eight. I haven’t won it at Sundowns because we are slow starters.”