Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mokwena: It puts a spanner in the works

9:43 AM GMT 23/02/2021
Rulani Mokwena Mamelodi Sundowns
Masandawana can still potentially win the treble of the domestic league, the Nedbank Cup and the Caf Champions League this season

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained how the club's postponed Caf Champions League match against CR Belouizdad has disrupted the rhythm of the Tshwane team.

Downs, the 2016 Champions League winners, had been scheduled to kick off their Group B campaign against Belouizdad in Algeria on February 23, but the match did not take place due to medical restrictions in the north African country - regarding their concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

With periodisation such a key factor in the planning of many professional clubs these days, the postponement of the match could potentially have a knock-on effect, and as Mokwena explains, it's important for the Downs technical team to deal with the situation as best they can.

“Whenever there is a change in the program it puts a spanner in the works, the reality is that everyone wants to work in a way where everything is pre-planned and then we can navigate our way through the program that has been sent, particularly because we are quite big on our periodisation," Mokwena told the Sundowns website.

"When we plan, we plan for cycles that are within the program of the entire season. It’s not just one game [that has been changed], it becomes about adapting to the cycle so that it fits into the next one," the former Orlando Pirates assistant coach continued.

“Unfortunately, it is what it is, the best thing we can try to do is to have the right perspective. It is now clear that we have two games sitting in our pockets for a little bit later in the season, we just have to adapt.”\

“We just have to work towards allowing ourselves enough time to improve the team, we know that we have a lot of things to improve, our schemes need to improve, our performances need to get better.

"We have a bit of time to recoup and refresh the team and work to make sure that physically we are fresh and ready to go for the next cycle. The way we play, the game demands a lot of physical execution from us."

The Brazilians' match against Belouizdad has been rescheduled to take place in Tanzania at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, on Sunday.

However, Masandawana are also scheduled to play Polokwane City in a Nedbank Cup Last 16 encounter on Saturday in Pretoria.