Johannesburg – As pressure mounts on Mamelodi Sundown in their attempt to defend the league title and shrug off a challenge from long-time leaders Kaizer Chiefs, coach Pitso Mosimane has called on his players to soak it up and give their all in the remaining two matches.
Sundowns missed a glorious opportunity to open a three-point gap at the top of the Absa Premiership after a 1-0 defeat to Baroka FC ensured that they failed to capitalise on leaders Kaizer Chiefs’ loss in the earlier match on a dramatic Sunday.
Sundowns will face off against bottom club Polokwane City on Wednesday and then take on another relegation-threatened team, Black Leopards on the final date on Saturday.
“As coaches we are paid to be professionals and we are trained to take the pressure that comes with it.
“There is always pressure‚ there are always expectations and everybody has got an opinion‚” said Mosimane.
“Professionals must play with the pressure. In fact‚ they must enjoy the pressure and thrive under pressure.”
While the pressure of knowing the results from the Chiefs match may have weighed heavily on their minds, Mosimane did not want to use this as an excuse.
“No no no‚ we are going with this thing (title chase) until it ends‚ it does not matter‚” Mosimane added.
“It’s your life. You are a professional. You are getting paid to work under pressure. You are getting paid to be criticised. So my players should understand that‚ including myself.”
Sundowns are still on course for a treble as they can add the league title and the Nedbank Cup to the Telkom Knockout they secured earlier this season.
“I come out stronger under very high criticism and I like to look back and say to whoever who said these can never happen or we can’t make it and say‚ you look at us now.
“If you don’t want to be criticised‚ don’t be a coach‚ if you don’t like to be criticised‚ then don’t be a player. It’s your life.”