JOHANNESBURG - Pitso Mosimane will not change Mamelodi Sundowns’ approach in what will be a gruelling campaign that will see the top three teams in the country compete for the league and play continental football as well.
The Brazilians, who won the Absa Premiership, and runners-up Orlando Pirates will represent South Africa in next season’s Caf Champions League. Kaizer Chiefs, who finished third, will compete in the Caf Confederation Cup. Their participation in continental football will be key in the league race as next season’s continental football will be congested into six months as the Confederation of African Football is moving its calendar from February - November to August - May.
The last five months, from January-May, in the championship race will separate the boys from the men given the increased workload it will come with. Sundowns normally start slow and gain momentum as the season goes. “It’s a marathon! You can sprint first, be ahead and then someone passes you along the way. It’s a marathon,” Mosimane said.
"We know the marathon. We’ve been doing this Comrades for the last four years. Normally we don’t start very well. You’ve got to know what you want. What’s important to us is the Champions League and the league. Those are the two major trophies. But you can’t say that you don’t want the MTN8 or the Telkom Knockout, you’ve got to try.”
Mosimane continued, “Player management, squad management, game management and training management will be crucial. It’s small components that people don’t see but could destroy your season if you don’t manage them well. We’ve seen people going all the way in the Champions League and Confederation Cup and they come back home and they don’t have the legs. It’s a marathon. It needs experience and we have the experience.”