Reigning league champions Mamelodi Sundowns will go into their Caf Champions League assignment on Saturday without Themba Zwane, and coach Pitso Mosimane has admitted to missing the playmaker.
The Tshwane giants play Angola’s Petro de Luanda in their first group stage match in the tournament, kicking off what is a busy few weeks ahead of them.
Mamelodi Sundowns struggle without Themba Zwane
While they are second in the domestic league, they have stumbled on occasion, and Mosimane has attributed the struggles to the Bafana winger’s absence.
A hamstring injury has kept Zwane out of Sundowns’ last four league matches, where they have only managed a solitary victory – losing twice and drawing one.
Mosimane believes his talisman has left a void in the team.
“We need him. We are struggling,” Mosimane admits.
“We can see that he is not there, we don’t have the real flavour. But we are digging, we put the teeth in and the nails in and we keep on going.
“We need Mshishi and I hope he will be back probably after the Angolans’ game. You know we are going to Casa [Casablanca], the real place.
“Probably I need Mshishi there and after Casa is the [Telkom Knockout] final. Probably [he will be back] for Casa and the final.
“Good thing [Gaston] Sirino is back for this weekend’s game. That’s good, we can have that flavour again. But you know Sirino has been naughty and [PSL prosecutor] Nande Becker wants him.”
Zwane has played 12 games in all competitions this season, contributing to 11 goals – netting six of his own and providing five assists.
Like his mentor, he is also up for a Caf award, along with goalkeeper Denis Onyango, with former Sundowns player Percy Tau also in the mix.
Meanwhile, Mosimane has been forced to tinker with his team in order to keep the players fresh for the busy schedule.
“We made seven [actually six] changes in our most recent match [against AmaZulu] from the Arrows game‚ and the boys showed they deserve a chance,” Mosimane said.
“We are playing in three tournaments – the Champions League‚ the Telkom Knockout final and the league. So you need everybody to be part of this.
“We have injuries and suspensions and it’s not easy for us because we have a difficult run.”
The match between Sundowns and Petro de Luanda kicks off at 21:00 (SAST) at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
Source link : https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/soccer/psl-south-africa/pitso-admits-sundowns-have-struggled-without-injured-themba-zwane/
Publish date : 2019-11-30 11:00:20