JOHANNESBURG – In the midst of their battle with the Premier Soccer League over what their coach feels is unfair treatment on them, Mamelodi Sundowns have to remain focused on the fight on the field.
The Brazilians remain in contention for a 'double' of domestic and continental titles.
They have an opportunity to catch up on Orlando Pirates in the Premiership this afternoon when they take on Chippa United at Loftus Versfeld.
The match kicks off at 3pm because Sundowns have to fly to Morocco afterwards for the first leg clash with Wydad Casablanca in the semifinal of the CAF Champions League on Friday.
Sundowns can’t afford to be distracted against the Chilli Boys, who have troubled the Brazilians in the past.
“They are a difficult team for us to beat,” coach Pitso Mosimane said. “But a league game is completely different from a cup game. Just put a cup, yeses - they come out. South African teams like these small cups. It’s okay because I used to play for them at SuperSport United. You want the league, where are you going to get it (at SuperSport at that time)? It’s okay for them to fight hard for the cups.
“I understand that emotion. But the league and the Champions League are different. That’s where your true character comes out. That’s where you judge a team. But a cup is different. You play four games and you are in the final.”
Away from the pitch, Mosimane has vowed to continue speaking his mind if he feels that his team is being “short-changed”.
Mosimane and the Brazilians are currently waging a war-of-words with the PSL in relation to the sentencing of the Tshwane side for fielding a defaulter against Bidvest Wits in October last year.
Sundowns’ erroneously fielded Wayne Arendse against the Clever Boys after Thapelo Morena was injured during the warm-up. Arendse was not on the provisional team sheet. Sundowns were found guilty on the matter but sentencing has dragged on due to their busy schedule.
Jingles went as far as saying that the “league must go to where it’s supposed to go”, insinuating that there is a conspiracy against his team.
The PSL hit out at those insinuations, calling a press conference to “clear the air” and releasing a statement about “certain regrettable comments”.
“I am myself,” Mosimane said. “Steve Komphela is himself, and we are outspoken. Normally people see it in a different way, especially me in my space. If I feel that I am short-changed, I don’t like it.
“When I lose to SuperSport (United), I am okay. There is no problem. I put all my hard work into this thing, I work very hard and I prepare the team well, so when I feel the work we have put is taken out of me - I become a different person. I don’t have a problem with losing.”
Mosimane continued: “Some people say that I am a bad loser. I have never seen a good loser. The coach who loses and smiles will be sacked. Yes, I take it hard. I don’t like losing.
“No, I don’t like losing. Who likes losing? Maybe I should be modest, but I don’t have that character.
When I lose, I am not happy and when I feel that I am short-changed, I say what I have to say. It’s not right sometimes, but so be it. I am a coach. What am I going to do?”