Mokwena: We’re strong enough to beat Pirates

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  • Post published:February 16, 2024

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says his side are “strong enough” to beat Orlando Pirates when the two sides meet in the DStv Premiership on Saturday evening.

The Brazilians are set to welcome the Buccaneers to Loftus Versfeld Stadium this weekend as the league resumes following Bafana Bafana’s return from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Sundowns currently sit at the summit of the league standings with 38 points from 14 games, while Pirates occupy fifth place with 25 points from 16 matches.

“The break was good for us. The mini mid-season camp was very good. We worked on a couple of things we want to improve in the second half of the season,” Mokwena told his club’s official website

“We know how difficult the game is going to be. It’s always difficult after such a long period of rest.

“We have not had all our players for every single training session at the same time, which makes it a little bit complicated, but we have a very good squad and a lot of very good players in every possession. We feel that we are strong enough to be able to win the game with the squad that we have,” the head coach stated.

“We know how difficult it’s going to be on Saturday. We are playing against a very good side and we have to make sure that we are at our best, not just in a tactical perspective but also emotionally and maybe even psychologically too, to make sure that we give a great performance,” he continued.

Mokwena also confirmed that six out of the nine players who representing Bafana at the AFCON will be sidelined through injury for their upcoming match.

The Brazilians might go without a few players on Sunday, who took part in the African Cup of Nations, where the South African National Team bagged the bronze medal. Coach Rulani gave an injury update on the players and mentioned that the team might go into a few encounters without them.

“I think with the Bafana Bafana players we have a few concerns. We’ve got a couple of players that came back with injuries and that might delay their return because we now have to deal with their rehabilitation,” he added.

“We have some concerns with Mothobi Mvala, Thapelo Maseko, Themba Zwane, Teboho Mokoena, Khuliso Mudau and Ronwen Williams.

“They now have to start with regeneration and the rehabilitation phase because they have to flush out the stress and the pressures of a tournament of that magnitude. Psychologically there needs to be some work done so they are ready to be competitive again.”

Photo by Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix