Downs to field weakened side against Highlands

Mamelodi Sundowns Sundowns players at training

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has suggested that he will field a weakened side in their final Absa Premiership encounter as he looks to prioritise the CAF Champions League.

Masandawana face AS Vita on Wednesday afternoon in Kinshasa and their mentor has highlighted the importance of garnering victory away from home as they look to retain their status as the best team in Africa. As a result, Mosimane said due to a lack of adequate rest in between travelling and playing two games, he will field fringe players against the relegation-threatened outfit.

“Our worry about Kinshasa is playing on Wednesday‚ travelling back on Thursday and arriving at night‚ then on Friday it’s only one day of rest and then we have to play Highlands Park‚” he told TMG Digital.

“In Kinshasa we have to try and make sure we don’t lose because they are now bottom of the log and have a goal difference of minus two.

“So we’ve got to play smart and keep them down there and we have to try and win here when we play at home again.

“On that artificial pitch in Kinshasa, really, we have to just try to do what we can and avoid us going bottom of the log.

“It’s OK now that the (South African) league is gone. That’s a monkey off our backs, and now we’ll see what we do with Highlands.

“Maybe we’ll keep players away from that game against Highlands to ensure I have fresh players for Champions League,” he added.

The former Bafana Bafana mentor defended his imminent decision about fielding non-regulars and said he hopes people don’t think he is doing The Lions Of The North a favour in their bid to survive relegation.

“We have to look after ourselves‚ no one looks after us.

“Champions League is important, we need to qualify for next year.

“But right now another league has started for us and that’s a bigger league‚ the Champions League.

“And we have to work around that. I hope no one will feel like we are giving Highlands a chance to survive and that we are not playing fair by not playing some of our top players.

“Last season we played fair after we won the league by not weakening our team for the last two games of the season.

“I played fair‚ I played everybody because I knew teams could be affected at the bottom or top eight, but this time I don’t know what’s going to happen‚ I have to look after the team‚ look after Sundowns‚” Mosimane added.

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

This story originally appeared on SoccerClub