Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund believes the Brazilians were disappointed to lose their Nedbank Cup Last 32 match against Chippa United , but admits that it gives them a chance to focus on other competitions.
The experienced coach said Pitso Mosimane’s squad has so many fixtures ahead of them and he was right to rest some of his players on Saturday afternoon.
“I think Pitso is aware that his players may be tired because of playing in so many competitions and that is why he decided to make some changes in the team,” Igesund told Goal.
“Of course they have a big squad, but we must know they have the league to defend, the Champions League to challenge for and he had to make changes,” he said.
In addition, the Brazilians are set to face AmaZulu at home this week in the league before turning their focus to Asec Mimosas in their third group stage match on Friday.
“With due respect to the sponsors, Sundowns are aware that the loss could also come as a benefit in the long run because they also have to play catch up games and the players are getting tired,” he added.
“You know the travelling on the continent takes its toll on the players and they have about three games in a week. So my point is that it is disappointing to lose because they wanted to win the Cup, but I am sure it will come as a benefit in my opinion,” he noted.
“It’s is disappointing to lose I am sure the Sundowns fans feel that way, but the loss comes with benefits because they have two competitions to focus on," he said.
“I know that coaches all over the world at clubs like Manchester United are usually changing their squads based on their programmes and we cannot say Sundowns would have won with a strong team or first team squad,” he continued.
“Sometimes you make the changes as a coach and you go on and lose the match. Either way, there is no guarantee that they would have won the game, and credit must also go to Chippa for the win because they also want to win a trophy,” responded the coach.
“I think Sundowns have a chance to challenge for the two titles, they are experienced on the continent and can focus better when they only have their league title to defend because the Nedbank Cup could have made their schedule look more heavy,” concluded the veteran coach.