Pitso Mosimane is prepared to take the heat if his decisions to chop and change his line-up during the season backfires.
The Mamelodi Sundowns mentor told journalists this week that he’d been forced to make seven changes to their Absa Premiership narrow victory over AmaZulu with an eye on the cup final on December 14 against Maritzburg United.
Downs face the Team of Choice in the Telkom Knockout final in Durban.
“I don’t make the changes because I want to look brilliant. I can’t risk the league. I make changes because I am forced. If we played (Hlompho) Kekana he was going to get a yellow card, like the one he got against Arrows in the first minute. He just stepped on somebody and after one minute he had a yellow card,” said Mosimane.
The coach also left out defender Tebogo Langerman because he is one booking away from suspension, meaning he would have been ruled out of the cup game if he’d been cautioned against AmaZulu, if he played.
“Do I want to risk that? Do I want to risk (Tebogo) Langerman, who is on three yellows? I can’t. The team needs to be full strength in the cup final. If it backfires then it comes back to me. That’s my job as a coach, it’s to give direction and to risk. And if it backfires I must take the blame. But if it works out, you have done your job as a coach,” the coach added.
“That’s why it’s a thankless job in this space. Thapelo (Morena) has a calf strain and we didn’t use him. (Mauricio) Affonso, the game took it out of him a little bit. Gaston Sirino, as you know, was suspended. Themba Zwane is not yet available, so is Denis (Onyango) and we have a big game on Saturday that we have to win because it’s at home. That’s why we have to balance the team and trust those that come in.