Sundowns coach Mosimane on Makhulong stadium: 'It is not a nice place to go to'
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane admits his side’s Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash with Highlands Park will take a lot out of the side as they seek to regain the trophy they last won in 2015.
Sundowns must travel to the Makhulong Stadium in Thembisa on the weekend of March 14/15‚ at the moment one of the toughest places in the country to go and get a result.
Highlands are fresh from knocking Kaizer Chiefs out of the competition on penalties following a 1-1 draw‚ part of a run of just a single loss in their last eight home matches‚ and that was a real off-day against Stellenbosch FC when they inexplicably went down 4-1.
"It is going to be a difficult game‚ Highlands are a tough team‚ a hard-tackling team. You need to be in good physical condition and shape to play them‚” Mosimane said.
"You don't need to go 120 minutes with Highlands‚ especially at home‚ their place. It is not a nice place to go‚ not too many people come out with a victory there.”
Mosimane says Highlands’ victory over Chiefs in the Last 16 was testament to the fighting spirit and stamina‚ as well as the quality they have in the team.
"They just won a big game now in the Nedbank Cup on penalties‚ so we need to be mentally ready more than anything.
"It will be a very physical game‚ they have good players - [Peter] Shalulile‚ Lindokuhle Mbatha is on form‚ we have to make sure we are fully rested to go to that match.”
Sundowns will also face a tough trip to Stellenbosch in the midweek before the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal‚ which already has Mosimane sweating as they enter a two-legged Caf Champions League quarterfinal against Egyptian giants Al Ahly over the next two weekends.
"I hope we don't have a heavy programme before that match‚ because it will take a lot out of our body‚" he said.
"But it is the way it is‚ it is the draw. You have to accept Thembisa is not an easy place to go and not many people are coming back from that place.”
The match is likely to be played on March 14‚ as Sundowns are set for a crucial Absa Premiership clash with Orlando Pirates on Tuesday‚ March 17‚ before they will return to Thembisa four days later for a league game against Highlands.
It is all part of a run of six games in 21 days for The Brazilians before the FIFA international break in March.