WATCH: ‘Tired’ Mamelodi Sundowns have to go again this week as fixtures pile up

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena says his troops are taking strain. Picture: Khaled Desouki / AFP

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena says his troops are taking strain. Picture: Khaled Desouki / AFP

Published Apr 15, 2024


Mamelodi Sundowns have hardly had time to put their feet up after Friday night’s Nedbank Cup quarter-final win over the University of Pretoria before taking the field again on Monday night.

Sundowns are in the middle of the demanding fixture list, having played five matches between March 30 and Friday’s cup quarter-final, which had to be decided on penalties.

They have another busy fortnight ahead, with domestic and continental obligations coming thick and fast.

On Monday night have to go again, with a DStv Premiership fixture against Moroka Swallows. They then travel to Tunisia for crucial CAF Champions League semi-final fixture against ES Tunis.

Sundowns then come back for a league fixture against Sekhukhune United on Tuesday, April 23 before the second leg of their Champions League match on the Friday.

Sundowns boss Rhulani Mokwena, however, does have the luxury to rotate his squad, especially in the league where they have a 13-point advantage over second-placed Stellenbosch FC with two matches in hand over the Winelands outfit.

Incidentally, the two best teams in the land were also drawn together in the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup, another fixture for Sundowns to contend with.

Mokwena admitted after Friday’s match that they are tired, but praised his players for showing fight during this difficult period.

“I’m a mess at the moment, but I’m allowed be (a mess). I told myself I’m allowed to feel tired, ‘you are allowed to be tired, you’re a man, not a robot,” Mokwena told a press conference after the Nedbank Cup win.

“I spend too much time on the team. That is one thing I’m learning at this present moment. I’m allowed to feel tired and I’m allowed to feel grumpy.

“The players are also allowed to feel like that, and I have to deal with them … their tiredness and their grumpiness.

“That’s why I’m so proud of them. They never give up. They’re such a good group of human beings. They keep pushing.

“At this moment in time we just have to keep going, because no one cares. Who cares?”

IOL Sport