After leading Mamelodi Sundowns to CAF Champion League quarterfinal qualification, Pitso Mosimane fired shots at PSL competitors for confining themselves within the country.
Mosimane, whose side is ranked 236 in the world, eight in Africa and first in South Africa by Footballdatabase.com, took a swipe at log leaders Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates for remaining at home while the PSL Champions campaigned on the African continent.
Chiefs are ranked 332 in the world, 17 in Africa and second in South Africa while Pirates are 418, 22 and fourth in the country. Mosimane says it’s not easy competing for the title with sides that are not seeing as much action as his charges.
“It’s always difficult when you are racing against well rested teams but we are where we are. We cannot be complaining that this team is not playing midweek, now they are playing only after seven days or waiting for us. We have an ambition. We are a very ambitious club and if you want to be where you are with world rankings, you can’t be playing every Sunday then your rankings will be there, the way they are. So you want to go up, you want to be ranked amongst other big clubs, you can’t be well rested,” said Mosimane.
So far this season Chiefs, with 41 points, have emerged as pacesetters in the race to win the title. Sundowns are second on the log where they trail Chiefs by nine points. Though Mosimane is unlikely to throw in the towel at this stage, the former Bafana Bafana coach sought solace in the fact that Sundowns was growing beyond the borders. He is keen to see how his nemesis will handle the Champions League next season.
“The brand grows. The noise becomes bigger. You can see the yellow jersey. You might not be winning the local league. You might not be on top of the group (log) but you achieve other things. The brand is bigger. It’s known on the continent, not within the borders. You know what I am trying to say. That’s huge for us. That’s Mamelodi Sundowns. Otherwise you focus within the borders, you are doing well. Next year you are getting these games, let’s go and see what are you gonna do now when you have four games in hand. It’s your chance now. We will see next year. We can judge next year. Not this year. I always say let’s run the same Comrades Marathon. You can’t run a half marathon and I run Comrades Marathon and then you say I am ahead of you. Of course you ran 42 and I did 98 so that’s the difference,” said Mosimane.
Sundowns’ next engagement is a home clash with Pirates at Loftus Versfeld this coming Wednesday.
By Hosea Ramphekwa