Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane has defended his goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse from criticism following their exit from the Telkom Knockout.
Mosimane opted to give Pieterse just his third start of the season against Baroka, but an error which led to the second goal, has seen many question whether or not he the right man for the job.
However, the 54-year-old mentor has backed his keeper and has refused to blame him for the defeat.
“Do I really want to judge him on that? A penalty and a deflection? I have seen a deflection scored against Denis Onyango. I have seen a deflection against (Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng) Khune,” Mosimane was quoted as saying by the club’s official website.
“I have seen a deflection against (Manchester United goalkeeper, David) De Gea and it goes in,” Mosimane added.
“All those top goalkeepers, even penalties. So really, I don’t think I should blame him for those two goals. Let’s be honest. It’s not about Reyaad. Let’s not kill the players because we are still going to need him. When he played against Golden Arrows, he had a decent game and there were no questions about his performance,” he recalled.
Meanwhile with Sundowns having been bundled out of the Cup, Mosimane has now turned his focus on defending their league title as well contending on the continent.
“I know that we want the Telkom Knockout, but you can’t win them all,” Mosimane admitted.
“Will you win everything? No. It’s okay. It’s a league cup. We’ve got to move on. We’ve got the league, which is more important,” he said.
“We also have the Champions League which starts in four weeks time, so we’ve got to focus. You can’t have everything,” he continued.
“The boys were texting each other while watching the Caf Champions League final on Friday, saying that we should have been there. That’s the space we operate in, at an international level. We represent you as South Africa to make sure that you get the rankings to have two teams in the Champions League and two teams in the Caf Confederation Cup like Orlando Pirates have done,” he remarked.
“But I understand that here at home we care more about the domestic competitions. We don’t know international football, most of us. A lot do. You ask me if I want to win the Champions League or the Telkom Knockout? You know the answer. The star on top of the badge is the biggest thing ever. If it’s easy, then how many teams have a star on top of their badge?,” he concluded.