Sundowns coach Rulani not bothered by high flying Swallows: 'Just another one of 30 games'

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Steve Komphela and Rulani Mokwena (Gallo Images)
Steve Komphela and Rulani Mokwena (Gallo Images)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns are set to clash against Swallows FC in a top-of-the-table encounter on Saturday.
  • Masandawana and the Dube Birds are leading the chasing pack with only goal difference separating the two teams.
  • The Brazilians co-coach Rulani Mokwena believes it is just another game.

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena says the upcoming top-of-the-table clash against Swallows FC is just another game, refusing to read too deep into it.

Masandawana failed to extend their lead at the summit of the standings with a goalless draw against Bloemfontein Celtic while Chippa United also held Swallows to a 1-1 draw during the midweek DStv Premiership fixtures.

Both teams have accumulated 26 points from 12 matches with only goal difference separating them heading into Saturday’s match at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium.

“It’s just another one of thirty (games)... and it is a game that we have to win,” Mokwena told the media on Friday morning.

“Every game Sundowns plays to win. We play Barcelona, Sundowns plays to win, we play Black Leopards, Sundowns plays to win, we play Cape Town All Stars, Sundowns must play to win, we play Black Poison, Sundowns must play to win.

“Every game Mamelodi Sundowns must play to win... focus and clear adherence to the targets and the goals we have set for ourselves. If we stay true to that, we should be okay.”

Mokwena revealed that he was not entirely shocked that Swallows were doing so well in the Premiership.

“The opposition is good, the team has winning momentum,” Mokwena continued.

“If you win the NFD (National First Division now known as the GladAfrica Championship) and you come into the PSL, you come into the PSL with a winning feeling, a winning momentum.

“So, you come in with very good momentum and with winning experience and that’s very important, that feel good momentum and the experience of winning football matches and winning trophies is important, so it’s a game we understand clearly that we have to play very well to win.”

Meanwhile, Mokwena’s only concern is the amount of injuries his players are picking up.

"We're a little bit thin at the moment with regards to defensive lines. Medically we're without Nascimento, medically we're without Lakay, medically we're without Bangaly, and for medical reasons we are without (Khuliso) Mudau," Mokwena said.

"And we were dealt a huge blow by losing Brian Onyango with a grade two thigh injury that sets us back a little bit.

"We will see how to improvise and be creative and how we sort out the situation. Maybe play three at the back, maybe play the way Swallows play with two at the back, we don't know how we're going to do it, but we have to find a solution.

"We have enough within the team to be able to adapt. Unfortunately, at this moment in time we have a huge hospital ward, but these are problems every team is facing. We just have to do the best we can under the circumstances."

Kick-off is at 15:30.

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