Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says reaching the group stage of the Caf Champions League for the fourth season in a row is a massive achievement for his side.
The Brazilians’ gaffer masterminded the team's 4-0 aggregate win over Libya’s Al Ahly Benghazi in the first round tie over the weekend.
“It was an important win for the club, especially coming at the end of the year. To put the team in the group stage was very important," Mosimane told Sundowns' website.
“That’s what I highlighted to the boys. I told them that this game isn’t for anybody but the club. The club has been supporting us, so we need to put the club consistently in the group stage," said the coach.
"I also told the guys that we need to send a message to Libya to say that South Africa is strong so that when Bafana Bafana goes to play Libya, they shouldn’t be afraid," he added.
Mosimane reckons their fourth successive appearance in the group stage will be a great milestone.
“It’s the culture, the mentality and the right thing to do for us to reach the group stage for the fourth time in a row,” Mosimane continued.
“When we have a team with the board and the president that says we are not complaining about anything, just go for it – we can’t disappoint. He (Patrice Motsepe) has been supporting (playing in the) Champions League for a long time,” he added.
“We don’t have an excuse to not at least take this team to the group stage of the Champions League because it is important for players like Phakamani (Mahlambi) and Lebohang Maboe to play in the Champions League,” praised the former Bafana Bafana mentor.
Moreover, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title-winning coach admitted that the team is still a work in progress.
“It’s also important for us as a team because we are a team in construction. You must remember that we are still building. But the best thing that could happen to this team is that while still building, let them play in the Champions League to gain experience,” said Mosimane.
“The six games in the group stage will prepare them for next year. This year, let’s be honest, we’re building the team to find the right combinations,” he concluded.