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Pitso: I am a bit tired


Sundowns coach hints at the possibility of taking some time off to refresh himself

IN NEED OF REST: Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns says that he would like to spend some time with his family after a hectic few seasons. Picture: BackpagePix

PITSO Mosimane is considering taking a one-year sabbatical ala Pep Guardiola to recharge his batteries.

Pretty apt when you consider just how hard the Mamelodi Sundowns coach has worked in the last four years with very little rest.

Granted his success does not match that which the little Spaniard who is now in charge of Manchester City had with Barcelona before he took a year off out in New York.

But Jingles has worked his bloody socks off alright.

“I am a bit tired,” Mosimane said after leading the Brazilians to yet another championship title – the third in five years – at the weekend with a 3-1 win over Ajax Cape Town “No, no, I am serious. I am a little bit tired because it has been four years with no off-season.”

He was not exaggerating, Sundowns’ local success having ensured that they had close to no proper break – their participation in the Caf Champions League seeing them playing even during the South African off-season when most clubs were resting.

“I am talking to my family about maybe taking a sabbatical for one year. So we will see. It has been too much. We have been through too much with my family.

“We’re just holding on.”

The high expectations on him to deliver success for the club financed to the max by mining magnate Patrice Motsepe has ensured that even during the little time when a break was possible, Mosimane kept busy doing research on the opposition and preparing for future matches.

And it is not just the need to appease the big boss that has seen the former Bafana Bafana coach somewhat neglect his family, he too sets himself lofty goals that can only be achieved through personal sacrifices.

The rewards have been fantastic though – three Absa Premiership titles, the Telkom Knockout and the Nedbank Cup, the continental Champions League as well as the Caf Super Cup and participation at the Fifa Club World Cup.

Surely the man needs some time to recharge.

“It’s been tough, we are being expected to win while travelling and playing every three days to make sure the team qualifies for the Champions League.”

It is for this reason that he was not shy to liken his Sundowns to Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“I don’t want to blow our own trumpet, but which team can play at the same tempo for three days despite having transits, long flights and just one day rest?

“Let’s play every three days and see if they can do what we did,” he challenged “Esperance (of Tunisia), Al Ahly (Egypt) and Sundowns are the only teams in Africa that can play in three seasons and play three matches a week consistently like the Real Madrids and Barcelonas (of this world). And there are no complaints. And they (the players of these clubs) play for their national team also, and no complaints.”

As he looked ahead to the future though, Mosimane made it clear he has a bigger goal to achieve, perhaps before the sabbatical materialises.

“It’s good for Mamelodi Sundowns (to win the league title). We need to go to a 10th league (championship triumph) and put a different star below the badge,” he said.

That will take two further titles to achieve that goal, the victory at the weekend having taken the Brazilians’ tally since the advent of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in 1996/97 to eight, with three of those having been achieved under Mosimane’s leadership.

With a good number of the core of his squad having gone through the recent rigorous seasons, rest will be key if Sundowns are to get to 10 titles soon.

A sabbatical for the coach, however, might not go down well with their passionate supporters who have grown from haranguing Mosimane to celebrating him even in defeats.