'Super proud’ Tuks coach Motaung turns attention to automatic promotion to PSL

13 April 2024 - 09:44
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
University of Pretoria (Tuks) coach Tlisane Motaung during the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal against Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix University of Pretoria (Tuks) coach Tlisane Motaung during the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal against Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

After their penalty shoot-out loss to Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday, University of Pretoria (Tuks) coach Tlisane Motaung has turned his attention to the bread and butter business of the Motsepe Foundation Championship. 

Tuks pushed Mamelodi Sundowns, who have not lost a match in all competitions this year, all the way to a penalty shoot-out but they have a short turnaround with their next league match against Maritzburg United at King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday. 

Only one point separates second-placed Tuks and log-leaders Magesi in what is turning out to be a two-horse race for automatic promotion to the PSL next season. 

“Our intention is to get the team promoted to the PSL without going through the play-offs,” said Motaung after the match. 

“We don’t want to suffer the same thing that we suffered when we came here and lost to Moroka Swallows. We don’t want that feeling again, I think this team and myself have matured and learnt a few things from that time we played in the playoffs.

“We must just focus and make sure that we compete and secure promotion. You don’t want to get to play-offs, it is a stressful, we are hoping that we will get automatic promotion.” 

Motaung said their impressive performance will give them confidence for the league push. 

“They were aware from the beginning that we wanted to compete in both competitions, we are out of this one and we need to focus on the main one. This performance is going to serve as motivation from my side to say you tested yourself against the team that has not lost this year. 

“What I was telling them is that you have what it takes, what is left is to go and finish the remaining seven matches in the league and we go and build preseason where we are going to compete and not just to add numbers in the PSL. 

“They have what it takes, we will add here and there and we will be able to really find tune, I learnt from the three PSL teams (Ajax, Swallows and Sundowns) that we played against. 

“They are encouraged, I was in the changing room, the mood is not down and we move on because they know Monday we fly to Maritzburg United and we have to go all out.

“I am super proud of these lads. Before this game there was a statement that Sundowns will come and just walk and I agreed at that time. But I went back to the players and said you need to make a statement for yourself. 

“You have an opportunity of playing against one of the best teams on the continent. You have to take this opportunity, assess yourself and send a message to the country to say we have what it takes to compete. 

“I am extremely proud of the effort and commitment, tactical display that our players showed throughout.”