Pitso hopes star will be fit

Pitso Mosimane
Pitso Mosimane
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is hoping to have key defender Ricardo Nascimento fully fit for their crucial Caf Champions League group stages clash with Wydad Athletic Club in Morocco on Friday night.

Nascimento missed the 2-0 MTN8 win over Golden Arrows on Saturday with a hamstring injury and Mosimane is crossing his fingers that travelling to North Africa will not affect his recovery programme.

“I am hoping that Ricardo is back on Friday because he is a brave and intelligent player‚” he said after the Arrows win.

“In Morocco it is going to be a sea of red on the stands and I need players with a strong personality [who] will be able to grind for a result under those conditions.

“We have to get there and be composed‚ be clever and keep on probing.

“If we don’t get a win, at least get a point, but we must never park the bus‚” he said‚ confirming that they were to fly out of the country on Monday via Ghana and arrive in Morocco on Tuesday.

“It is going to be seven hours to Ghana‚ five in transit and we leave in the morning [for] Casablanca.

“The challenge is coming back because we have Highlands Park two days after our return.

“Those who are staying behind must do the job for us against Highlands.

“Wydad are highly experienced‚ they know how to manage the game. For us we have to be careful on penalties because they are good on set pieces and how to delay play.”

In their last two matches, against Polokwane City and Arrows‚ Sundowns have kept clean sheets and Mosimane said he wanted his defence to achieve the same in Morocco.

“We need another clean sheet in Casablanca‚” he said.

“It is not going to be easy but hopefully we can do it and enhance our chances of progressing to the next round.”