CAF Champions League

Mosimane lauds Kaizer Chiefs' Hunt, throws shade at Mamelodi Sundowns coaches

10:27 AM GMT 23/05/2021
Pitso Mosimane, Al Ahly, February 2021
The former Masandawana coach appeared very emotional as he addressed the media in his post-match press conference

Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has made remarks which suggest Mamelodi Sundowns used to be a better team with him at the helm during his eight-year stint at Chloorkop, when compared to how they are currently set up with three coaches sharing responsibilities.

Following Al Ahly’s 1-1 draw against Sundowns on Saturday, which eliminated the Brazilians from the Caf Champions League at the quarter-final stage with a 3-1 aggregate scoreline, Mosimane expressed anger at the way he was welcomed in Tshwane.

The former Bafana Bafana trainer made comments which seem to undermine the strength of Masandawana under co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena as well as senior coach Steve Komphela.

A seemingly angry Mosimane went on, also appearing to mock the Sundowns tacticians' decision to substitute Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino and Thapelo Morena before storming out of the press conference.

“But I have high respect for Mamelodi Sundowns, a team I love so much,” Mosimane told the media. 

“I won the star on the jersey of this team and I had been driving this team alone for eight years. Not with other people, alone. I'm running Ahly alone. Like the best thing for me is to take Sirino and Thapelo out.” 

The former Bafana Bafana coach also took time to compare members of his former Masandawana backroom staff with Kaizer Chiefs’ Gavin Hunt, whom he hailed as mature and experienced. 

“I will let bygones be bygones and move on like at Safa I moved on. I thought I left a very good team for the coaches to inherit, the best team I ever had,” said Mosimane. 

“I thought I left in peace, I shook hands. But ever since I’m in Egypt I am not at peace and I didn’t want to talk. But now that the situation is like this, fine, later I’m going to write a book. 

“I go with one game at a time and I have big respect [for Hunt]. Did you see the goals that Chiefs scored? Tell me what 80 percent of those goals were, with the head. 

“Simba can play very well, they dribbled us in Tanzania. I’m not going to point a finger at Gavin Hunt because I respect him. You know why?

"Because Gavin Hunt has won four [PSL] titles and lots of trophies. So why should I disrespect Gavin?  

“He has got experience. He might not be doing very well in the league but he knows how to win games. We have been there, it is not about talking too much. We have experience in these things. We know how to win a match.” 

In an apparent reference to Mngqithi who, before the second leg, said “Al Ahly have a weak defence” and Sundowns “can score multiple goals,” Mosimane feels such criticism helped them prepare for the Brazilians. 

“When you start pointing fingers at people, they prepare for you. When you point fingers saying ‘we will beat you, we play better than you, you are weak in defence.’ We prepare because you are making us sharpen the sword,” Mosimane continued. 

“So it’s better to give respect and have your plan, then put it on the pitch. This thing of saying Ahly doesn't have the best defence is not right. So who had the best defence? We scored three goals. 

“On Friday I worked so hard on setpieces. I have the big boys. [At Sundowns] It is only Ricardo [Nascimento] and Mosa [Lebusa] who are good on set pieces and they have height.

"You could see [Peter] Shalulile was struggling with his body because I have the bigger boys.” 

Mosimane’s remarks could suggest a huge fall out between him and some of his former Sundowns workmates .