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Nedbank Cup: Mamelodi Sundowns won’t miss Sirino against troubled Bidvest Wits - Igesund

17:08 SAST 2020/08/07
Gaston Sirino, Mamelodi Sundowns, September 2019
The former Bafana manager looks at whether Masandawana will struggle without the influential Uruguayan player

Former Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Gordon Igesund believes Masandawana will not struggle against Bidvest Wits without their star midfielder Gaston Sirino, who is suspended.

The Uruguayan player is serving a two-match suspension after he was found guilty of assaulting SuperSport United defender Clayton Daniels and ex-midfielder Dean Furman earlier this season.

On the other hand, the Tshwane giants could also be without winger Phakamani Mahlambi, but Igesund says the Clever Boys will struggle against the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions.

“You know at this stage it’s very difficult to say they will miss the two players because all the teams have their own challenges,” Igesund told Goal.

“The four-month break has taken its toll on Sundowns and I’m sure it’s exactly the same for everybody. They can’t have a proper mini pre-season training or play friendlies to prepare for these games. It’s quite difficult for many teams now.

“For Sundowns, I don’t think it will be a train smash as they will be missing the likes of Sirino and Mahlambi. I think it’s Wits that are in turmoil. There are bigger problems at Wits that there are at Sundowns.

“I’m saying this because Pitso has been away with his team in Rustenburg and the same cannot be said about Wits. The players at Wits are fighting for their livelihoods. So, they are worried about their families because some are reluctant to go to Limpopo where the team will be based.”

Wits are also set to face Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs twice in the league, and former Bafana Bafana coach Igesund hopes Hunt is able to steer his side to a decent position.

“It’s a very difficult time but Gavin is a professional, he will try and focus on winning the game. His players will be focused because they wouldn’t also like to see the club’s 99-year history go in vain,” he added.

“I don’t know all the facts but I can imagine he was suddenly told that the club was sold. I don’t think Gavin knew and that’s why I say it’s very difficult for him and the players.

"Wits will also have a big role regarding the championship, they will face Pirates and Chiefs (twice) in the league," he explained.

“I understand the players are human beings, they have got families to look after and they are now expected to focus on the job at Wits and ensure they finish on a high.

"But we are talking about players that don’t know where they will be going and that is including the coach himself – it’s pretty much a challenge for Wits than Sundowns going to this cup game.”