Pitso Mosimane presented Mamelodi Sundowns as lamb to the slaughter ahead of their Nedbank Cup quarterfinals clash with Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Saturday.
Mosimane, whose side are fresh from a league win over Stellenbosch FC, says the Brazilians’ taxing schedule and injuries to key players will have them limping in Tembisa, where they expect Owen Da Gama’s men to give them tough time.
“Now we are going to Makhulong. You need energy there. You need energy more than tactics. You can never go to Makhulong the way we were and expect to win. We would be in trouble in Makhulong. I can tell you now. I hope the game finishes in 90 minutes,” he said.
“Whether we win or lose, it should not go to extra time because it will affect our Pirates game on Tuesday.
“The dice is loaded against us and time has caught up with us at this point in time. We have to do what we have to do. It’s the price you pay. You need energy in Makhulong which is what we don’t have. You need player availability which is what we are really struggling with,” Mosimane continued.
“Also you need the mental strength. They don’t pull out on tackles. They mark man-to-man. They always follow you wherever you go. You need that. The mental strength we have but we don’t have the energy, we don’t have the legs. We don’t have player availability.”
Mosimane revealed that his key players – Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino are likely to miss this weekend’s match owing to injuries. The duo battled but didn’t finish the match against Stellies, where Tebogo Langerman and Sphelele Mkhulise also limped off. Mosimane says even though Zwane and Sirino may pass a late fitness test, he won’t gamble with them.
“I don’t think those two will be available. If they are on the edge of making, I will not take risk to play them because we have a game on Tuesday.”
After Highlands Park, Sundowns face Pirates in a crucial league match at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday evening.
By Hosea Ramphekwa