Mosimane hopes Baxter understands where ‘Sundowns’ players 'are coming from’
Pitso Mosimane has urged Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter to carefully manage Mamelodi Sundowns’ players in the buildup to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt because they have played a lot of football this season.
Since the beginning of the season in August last year Sundowns have played a mind-boggling 51 matches in all competitions‚ including the Caf Champions League where they lost 2-1 to Wydad Casablanca on aggregate in the 2018-19 semifinals.
They also played their last two games of the 2018 Champions League‚ in a compressed continental club season where Caf has altered its calendar from southern to northern hemisphere‚ during the current campaign.
Sundowns will feature in their 52nd match of the long and arduous campaign when the Absa Premiership leaders take on Free State Stars at Goble Park in Bethlehem on Saturday where victory will see them retain the league trophy.
“I don’t know if he [Baxter] sees it the way I see it but if he wants to get the best out of Sundowns’ players at Afcon‚ he will need to regenerate and bring them back. And how do you do that – you don’t train‚” Mosimane said.
In the 2018-19 Champions League‚ which started in the preliminary round against Leones Vegetarianos in Equatorial Guinea‚ Sundowns have travelled to Libya‚ Morocco‚ Nigeria‚ Ivory Coast and Egypt‚ playing against some of the best teams on the continent.
“He [Baxter] is going to have flat players at the tournament but he is an experienced coach. He understands and probably he will communicate because guys like Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane are finished.
“They just pitch for the match – I don’t talk tactics with them because they know what is happening. They have been here for many years and I hope that Stuart Baxter understands where we are‚” he said.