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Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mosimane: Orlando Pirates don't know Covid-19 football

19:48 SAST 2020/08/10
Mamelodi Sundowns Pitso Mosimane - August 2019
The Masandawana manager unpacks why their upcoming league encounter against the Buccaneers is tough

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane calls their Premier Soccer League (PSL) encounter on Tuesday against Orlando Pirates a big clash considering the fact they are playing a well-rested team. 

Bucs have not played since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak halted fixtures in March. The Brazilians are out to bag their second win across all competitions in the space of five days but will also be looking to avoid another defeat at the hands of the Soweto giants in the league this season.

Sundowns are fresh from a 3-2 win against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup on the weekend and ‘Jingles’ has dropped a hint they have inside information on coach Josef Zinnbauer’s men, especially having his assistant, Rhulani Mokwena, who returned from the Ghost.

“It is tough and difficult. Yes, we have a little bit of information ahead of Orlando Pirates, we can say a little of advantage but I don’t know how many times I asked the bench and I asked the officials - do I still have a substitute to make?” Mosimane told the media.

“It is confusing, the half-time does not count as a substitute and I kept asking Lux [Luxolo September] all the time. So it is difficult it is not easy. It is going to be tough.

“We are playing a team that is resting and watching tonight [Saturday] when we had people who got hamstrings. But they will have their own chance, everybody’s coming.

“Advantage because we have played, a disadvantage because we are playing a well-rested team because we don’t have the legs until Tuesday so ice baths and let’s see how it goes.

“Big game on Tuesday but it is not the same as you have seen before.”

Despite the advantage of having their first full 90 minutes under the belt since the games were suspended five months ago, the reigning PSL Coach of the Season says they now know how to play the game behind closed doors.

“Football within Covid-19, we know it now, we can now comment on it but if you haven’t played you can’t talk because if you haven’t suffered a muscle injury, you don’t understand,” he added.

“First 15 minutes today [Saturday] Celtic [Bloemfontein] had a player pull a hamstring, ask Dylan Kerr [Baroka coach] if that is his team he saw. It is not the same.

“So, no one knows and you can’t comment until you have been in it so only four teams can talk about football within Covid-19 and they are the teams who have played. So, those who haven’t, can’t comment - they must comment after.”

A victory for the former Bafana Bafana mentor at Dobsonville Stadium will see his side narrowing the gap on Kaizer Chiefs to four points but the Soweto giants will have a chance to stretch it as they face the Clever Boys on Wednesday night at FNB Stadium.