JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns will go to Bloemfontein with a hint of caution even though they have had the better of Bloemfontein Celtic already this season.
The Brazilians beat Phunya Sele Sele in the MTN8 quarter-finals where they will next face their Tshwane neighbours, SuperSport United, over two legs in the semis. Matsatsantsa are another team that Pitso Mosimane’s side got the better of earlier this season.
But that doesn’t mean Sundowns will go into these matches - first against Celtic tomorrow at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in the PSL and then against SuperSport in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-finals on Sunday - with their chest out.
“This league is becoming a different league,” Mosimane said.
“This is the story of last year, anybody can beat anybody. You can’t go and say that you are going to win in Bloemfontein. You can’t just win in Bloemfontein. Highlands beats Pirates, they go to Thohoyandou and the score is different. Chippa got a point from us and they go to Arrows it’s a totally different story. This football is unbelievable.
“It’s the way it is. I am happy that we played SuperSport and they are out of the way (in the league). Once they get momentum, they are spoilers.
“They held Orlando Pirates to a draw last year and that allowed us to get an advantage in the league race, same with Cape Town City and we are done with them.
“We should have won against Cape Town City, but we didn’t. We also should have won against Chippa. It’s a long process. There’s the MTN8, Champions League and the league - three different competitions in seven days and they have their own moods.”
Mosimane will finalise his squad for the season this week with some players likely to be loaned out for game time before the close of the transfer window. The Brazilians will push until the end to land the two “big fish.”
Mosimane wants to complete his squad. “We don’t want players just because we want to sign players,” Mosimane said. “We’ve got enough players. It’s enough! We still have the Aubrey Ngomas, JBs (Jeremy Brockie) and Lucky Mohomi.
“There’s a chance to play. Everybody must play. Lucky will also get a chance to play if he doesn’t go. He is a good player, but we also can’t be giving away our players as charity.
“We bought these players and some teams want our players, but they don’t want to pay for them. But when Sundowns want the players, they put up the price tag.”
Even though Mosimane is cautious ahead Sundowns’ trip to Bloemfontein, he is confident about what his squad can do this campaign after weathering the storm of last season’s transition to replace Khama Billiat and Percy Tau.
“We are used to losing important players,” Mosimane said. “What is good about us, we keep going when they are not there. That’s one thing we do well at Sundowns, we have a succession plan.
“We win the trophies, we get disturbed, we have a team in construction and we still remain competitive. This team isn’t in construction. We have started well. It’s the truth.
“That’s why we kept the core of this team. I hope that nobody plucks anyone from this team now. We kept the core of the team so that we have a flow.”