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HomeNedbank CupWas He Surprised By Pirates Changes? Mokwena Responds

Was He Surprised By Pirates Changes? Mokwena Responds

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena says that while he may have been expecting a different lineup from Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup final, he wasn’t exactly surprised by Jose Riveiro’s selections.

Pirates lifted the Nedbank trophy after a 2-1 win in the final on Saturday at the Mbombela Stadium.

Many were surprised to see players like Tshegofatso Mabasa, Kabelo Dlamini and Relebohile Mofokeng not in the starting line-up for Pirates, but when asked about it Mokwena said that while he had expected players like Dlamini and Mabasa to start, he had watched previous Pirates games, including their fixture earlier this year, when Monnapule Saleng, Deon Hotto and Evidence Makgopa had played.

“That’s the thing sometimes, the depth of the investment is too much to accept defeat like this,” preluded Mokwena before explaining. 

“And why I say that is because with the staff, and with the analysts, I probably watched 12 Orlando Pirates matches. The last 10 and then I watched the MTN8 final. 

“And I watched the game that we played against them in January, and specifically, the game we played in January was the last match I watched. We then cut the clips of that game, because I remember vividly after the match, the coach Jose Riveiro, saying to me that he enjoyed the game. He thought that his team played very, very well. 

“So when I saw the lineup and even though I had expected a Kabelo Dlamini to start, because I think he’s been fantastic, really, for them. And Mabasa has been very good and I thought he would start but seeing that game in January and how they pressed and how aggressive Saleng was and Hotto was, and Makgopa was, and how they important they were for beating the press going beyond with flicks and second balls, relatively, it was not surprising, because I had just watched the game and I saw how well the coach felt they did. 

“And the things that they did very well were the things of high pressing and beating the press when you go a bit when the build-up. And then they go to Makgopa or to Hotto to flick for runners behind and use the speed. 

“So yeah, it’s a pity because as I say the investment, doesn’t equate to the outcome, and that’s a bit of a bitter pill to swallow. And I can imagine for the players even more because I can’t fault them for effort. 

“It’s a game where I cannot say to the players you didn’t do enough.  But we lost and that’s what matters in Cup finals, you’ve got to win. All this other stuff, when you start to explain sounds like excuses or comes out as excuses and no one’s interested in that, who cares.”

iDiski Times
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