Defence irks Igesund as Brazilians take on Celtic

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Gordon Igesund is concerned about his side's defence going into the SAA Supa 8 encounter against the spirited Bloemfontein Celtic at Loftus tomorrow.

"We've not prepared well because we've been travelling all the time. We'll only start this afternoon to gear up for our game on Saturday," said Igesund, whose side returned from Tunisia yesterday.

They are prepared to put everything behind them, including last weekend's 4-0 defeat against CS Sfaxien in the Confederations Cup in Tunisia, and face their opponents with determination and the will to win.

"I'm worried about the defence but if it comes to the push we'll make some positional changes and see how we perform against Celtic," Igesund said.

He said Mbulelo "OJ" Mabizela, David Kannemeyer, Michael Manzini and Manqoba Ngwenya were not 100 percent fit, adding that the medical staff would work on them.

The Brazilians will depend on Brent Carelse, Lerato Chabangu, Josta Dladla and Surprise Moriri to see them through to the semifinals.

But they are meeting a red-hot Celtic, the side that won the lucrative Telkom Charity Cup last weekend. Phunya Sesesele's mood and determination to win is boundless.

Celtic won the SAA Supa 8 in the 2005 soccer season, but failed to defend it the next season because they could not make it into the top eight bracket.

Phunya Selesele's coach Khabo Zondo was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked about their chances of advancing to the next round of the competition.

"We're trying hard to get most of our unfit players match fit. It's a different ball game, more so playing against Sundowns who are the defending champions," he said.

"They're a star-studded side with quality players. But we're not under any pressure, so we're going to play our own game, depending on what formation Sundowns will be playing."

Zondo said Moses Spandeel, Petros Malokase and James Madidilane were not 100 percent fit.

"Kleinbooi Taaibos, Lebohang Kukame and Soul Mmethi are still injured."

But he will bank on Carlo Scott, John Maduka, Lebogang Mothibantwa and Petrus Mahlatsi.