Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has taken a different perspective to their lack of action after their CAF assignment was abruptly cancelled last week.
The Brazilians were due to fly out to Algeria on Thursday for their second Champions League group stages clash against CR Belouizdad, which would have been played five days later, but their aircraft was grounded.
Belouizdad had not been able to secure a venue and Downs were only informed by CAF minutes before they were scheduled for departure.
“When there’s a change in programme it puts a spanner in the works because the reality is everyone wants to work in a way where things are pre-planned,” Mokwena told the media while reflecting back on the team being sidelined.
Sundowns beat Baroka 2-0 in their DStv Premiership match the day before and were allowed to postpone their game against Maritzburg so they could leave early for Algeria.
It’s now expected that their Nedbank Cup round of 16 fixture at home against lower division side Polokwane City on Saturday will also now be moved.
Belouizdad have found a neutral venue in Tanzania and CAF confirmed the match will be played there on Sunday.
“What has happened now is that we got thrown off, but that then gave us a neutral week. The best thing we can try to do is have the right perspective – although it is now clear that we have two games sitting in our pockets for a little bit later on in the season,” the coach explained.
“But the time allows us to recuperate and to refresh the team and be ready for the next cycle. The perspective we would like to take is that we’ve now got time to work on the team, different game forms and time to refresh and regenerate. As leaders in this point in time we’ve got to be in control of the situation.”
Downs used the HM Pitje Stadium as a home venue for years, but it's currently in a sorry state!