Pitso asks for time at Sundowns

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By PJ Van Rooyen

Johannesburg – Newly appointed Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he will need time to lift the the struggling outfit from their slump after club president Patrice Motsepe hired the former Bafana Bafana mentor at the weekend.

“I feel very humbled and privileged,” Mosimane said on Monday.

“I am here to help Sundowns and to stabilise the team. I would also like to see Sundowns in a better position (in the league standings).

“I think we all know that Sundowns deserve to be in a better position and I think the family of Mamelodi Sundowns deserves that respect.

“I need time to turn things in the team around. Rome was not built in one day and if you look at the last five years, it has been a little bit difficult for Downs.”

Mosimane had been without a job since he was dismissed as head coach of the national team in June, after Bafana went seven straight games without a win, before replacing Dutch coach Johan Neeskens, who was dismissed following a string of poor results which saw the league giants sink to bottom of the table last month.

Neeskens became the 13th coach to be sacked by Motsepe, following the Brazilians' 1-0 Telkom Knockout final defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic in Durban on Saturday evening.

Although Neeskens failed to win any silverware in his time with the Chloorkop outfit, he was the only coach to have lasted an entire season in charge since Motsepe became club president in 2003.

The Brazilians, second from bottom in the Premiership standings, have managed only two victories from their 12 league encounters this season, and made their worst start to a Premiership campaign in their 17-year Premier Soccer League affiliation.

“When you sign a contract at this level, we all know that it is a hot seat,” Mosimane said.

“We all know that there is pressure and stress. We always find a lot of hurdles in football and, yes, I agree that we may stumble a bit, but I believe that I have experience and knowledge of the local game.

“I believe that I inherited a very good team of individuals, the personnel is good, but as they say in football, numbers don't lie.

“The amount of points Sundowns have won, the amount of goals scored and conceded… don't lie. It reflects the current situation.”

Sundowns take on Free State Stars in a Premiership clash in Phuthaditjhaba on Wednesday and Mosimane admitted his first game in charge would be a difficult assignment.

“I believe I can help the team come out and put the team in a better position, but I only have the team for one training session (before Wednesday's match),” Mosimane said.

“It is a question of time. You can't just come with a big broom and sweep. I am here to focus on the team.

“It will be a tough encounter because of the time, but we know it is difficult to go to the Free State and win. It will be a tough one but let's see how it goes.”

Mosimane was eager to hit the ground running with the struggling side in an attempt to lift them from their poor run of form.

“I believe I am the right person for this job,” he said.

“I can turn the team around but I need time. Yes, we want results, and yes, the fans want results, but we need to find the balance.

“I am in the job so I can't have complaints. I have faced big sides and I should be able to get the job done.” – Sapa

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