Pitso Mosimane happy with his squad
Coach admits playing in three different competitions put strain on players but he believes they can cope
Pitso Mosimane has backed the depth of his squad after a second-string Mamelodi Sundowns lost their MTN8 semifinal first leg 1-0 to Cape Town City on Saturday.
Sundowns had what looked like a good goal by Anthony Laffor chalked off for offside and hit the woodwork twice.
Mosimane handed first starts to Toni Silva‚ Mosa Lebusa and Sphelele Mkhulise‚ selected midfielder Lucky Mohomi from the start and gave an extended run to new Venezuelan forward Jose Ali Meza among nine changes to his side.
The coach‚ who rested key players in anticipation of Tuesday’s must-win Caf Champions League clash against Horoya of Guinea at home‚ was happy with the performance but disappointed with the result.
"We played well‚ I’m not unhappy with my boys … 90% of the team on the pitch has not played even 45 minutes recently‚" he said.
"They came here and played a tough game like this. It was brilliant and I am happy with the progression. We have a different programme and we are managing it well.
"We are an ambitious club and that is the price you pay when you are ambitious. When you want more‚ you have to put in more."
Mosimane admitted that playing in three different competitions in six days put strain on the players but he believes they can cope.
"The league is a different mentality. Champions League is different emotions because it is a bigger tournament.
"Then you have the MTN8 and our supporters are emotional about the cup games. You have to pitch up and you can’t give excuses.
"All is not lost. We have another chance to play in Pretoria. Normally there is a goal there for Sundowns."
Mosimane had praise for City and coach Benni McCarthy. He lauded the work of his opposite number in building a team that plays attractive football.
"It was a good game of football‚ very exciting. We never sat for a minute. It was a good display. The teams were trying to play‚ passing the ball and building from the back.
"Benni is doing exceptionally well‚ he is growing and showing that he is serious."
The semifinal second leg will be played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.