February 28, 2021

Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mosimane: I’m ready for criticism just like Mourinho and Guardiola

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The Downs coach came out victorious from brutal confrontations for the league title in the last two seasons and wants to be at ease in the current bid

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane appears not bothered by the stiff challenge for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title from log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, saying as a professional coach he is enjoying being under pressure.

Only goal difference separates Chiefs and Sundowns who have 53 points each, with two league games remaining.

With Mosimane having pipped Orlando Pirates to the league title in the last two seasons, he is not new to such a close tussle for the league title and is not complaining about the pressure involved.

This is despite watching his side blow a chance to go top of the table after a frustrating 1-0 loss to Baroka FC on Sunday.

“In our job there is pressure. As coaches, we are paid to be professionals and we are trained to take the pressure that comes with it,” Mosimane told the media.

“In our profession, there is always pressure‚ there are always expectations and there is always opinion from everybody. One day you are loved, one day you are not. We don’t make excuses. Professionals must play with the pressure. In fact‚ they must enjoy the pressure and thrive under pressure.

“I come out stronger under very high criticism and I like to look back and say to whoever who said these can never happen or we can’t make it and say‚ you look at us now.

“If you don’t want to be criticised‚ don’t be a coach‚ if you don’t like to be criticised‚ then don’t be a player. It’s your life. It’s an everyday story. You can ask all the other coaches, the Peps [Guardiola], the [Jose] Mourinhos.”

“We just have to make sure we fight for this thing until the end because you never know. No no no‚ we are going with this thing [title race] until it ends‚ it does not matter.

“It’s your life. You are a professional. You are getting paid to work under pressure. You are getting paid to be criticised. So my players should understand that‚ including myself.”

While Mosimane appears to be withstanding the heat of the title race, his Chiefs counterpart Middendorp appears to be under pressure.

Middendorp snubbed the post-match press conference in apparent frustration after his side lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits on Sunday.

“As you said coach Middendorp did not even go to his post-match interview. It’s frustration. We are human beings and expectations are high,” said Mosimane.

“You know behind us in an institute‚ it is everybody‚ it is our families, with the support we get we can be disappointed [after losing] and we as coaches we have to take the blame as much as we take the credit.

“But let’s see how it goes. It’s unbelievable, you never know what’s going to happen. But we don’t want to make excuses. The last two games we go for it and we fight for it.”

Sundowns now prepare to face basement side Polokwane City on Wednesday, while Chiefs resume their title push against Chippa United the same evening.