Pitso looking for Sundowns to pull the trigger against FS Stars

03 December 2016 - 14:40 By Marc Strydom

Pitso Mosimane will ask his players to give their fans a good send-off to try to get their minds on Free State Stars and off the Fifa Club World Cup in Saturday’s last match before Mamelodi Sundowns’ departure for Japan.

Town at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.

As can happen on the Discovery Channel‚ the proverbial penguin escaped the PSL’s current great white shark in that game‚ and then to add salt to the wound by beaching it on the rocks.

Sundowns coach Mosimane has been at pains to not make excuses following that defeat. He has praised the manner in which Ajax’s new coach Stanley Menzo analysed the Brazilians.

But Mosimane has also admitted that a growing niggling injury list ahead of new African champions Downs’ departure on Monday for the Club World Cup (CWC) and their minds being on the star-studded tournament in Japan have played their roles too.

The coach admitted that distraction might be a problem again against second-last Stars.

“To be honest we really should not make excuses – we lost to a good and well organised team. But I just have one word for that game – we didn’t pull the trigger‚” Mosimane said of Downs’ second league defeat of the season against Ajax – also just that club’s second win.

“We should have pulled the trigger at the right time. We knew it was going to be a little bit tighter. I think they defended better in the last two games they had played.

“And as I said‚ the coach did his homework. I read in articles what he said before the game and how he looked at our team – beautiful.

“And that’s nice. And it also makes me now say that there are people who are really looking into your team that much‚ so you need to come with something a little bit different.

“That’s why you always have to sharpen the saw in football.

“The game on Saturday is also not a very nice game for us‚ because the players are already in Japan.

“But I’ll try and make it work. I’ll try and use the game as a good send-off to our supporters. Maybe it will raise the temperament and the mentality and the attitude.

“And use that to say: ‘Guys‚ we can’t leave the wrong way – we must leave the right way’.”

With Mosimane having blamed growing fatigue amongst a squad who have not had an off-season thanks to their exertions winning the Caf Champions League in October for his growing list of niggling injuries‚ the coach is likely to rest key players against Stars.

Anthony Laffor became Downs’ latest casualty limping off with a hamstring injury against Ajax. Mzikayise Mashaba returned against Ajax for Tebogo Langerman‚ the player whose lack of back-up while Mashaba was injured saw him play through a gruelling schedule‚ and who now has thigh and hamstring strains.

Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly have been out with shin splints‚ but may get a run against Stars to get back into a playing groove ahead of the departure for Japan.

Leonardo Castro is likely to get a first start since his return from injury to try to get the Colombian sharper for the CWC.

TMG Digital/TMG Sport