No panic button for Mosimane as Sundowns flounder
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has refused to push the panic button and maintains his African champions are playing well despite a third loss in a row in their 1-0 defeat at Chippa United in the Telkom Knockout first round on Sunday.
Sundowns have now lost four of their last five games, but Mosimane says they simply have to keep believing that their path is the right one.
The coach also suggests that his side's elimination from the Telkom Knockout, coupled with the FIFA international break in November, could be a blessing in disguise as it will give Downs some much needed downtime with only three games scheduled in the next five weeks.
"If I press the panic button, the players will also lose it. So to keep calm is the reality. You are the head of the club, you must just keep everybody calm," Mosimane told reporters, as per the Times Online.
"And you have to look at the performance, are we playing well?" he added. "Yes, I think we are playing well, we are dominating all the time.
"The last three [games], we have dominated and it is always the same. Teams sit back and catch you on the break. You must score first. If you don't score first, it puts you in another situation.
"I won't press the panic button because I look at what is happening there and I understand what is happening. It's football. In my entire career I don't remember losing three games in a row, or even two games," the coach continued, "but it is part of my growth, my development and my history."
Mosimane says his side's current struggles are not unexpected as their testing schedule has denied them proper rest between league campaigns for the last three years.
"I said before, buckle up, it's going to be a little bit different now," Mosimane continued. "It's three seasons in a row [without a break]. Sometimes when you say that, people say you are making excuses, but it's a reality. You need a break.
"Maybe it is right for us to get a little bit of a breather ... I don't know. Move away from a lot of things and hopefully you can recover and get there. But that's life, every coach goes through this."
Mosimane did admit that his side failed to create enough chances with all of the ball possession they had against Chippa in what looked a limp performance.
"We created a few chances, but not really that much to be honest," he said. "We did what we had to do, we pushed the home team into one half, we tried to go in and penetrate, but we couldn't the way we wanted.
"All in all, I think it was a game played more in the midfield for us. They sat back, and they caught us on the break and that's part of ... that's it," the CAF Champions League-winning coach added. "You know when you play in one half that is going to happen and congratulations to them, they took their chance."
Mosimane says that if his players were a bit flat, it was because they are starting to feel the pressure of not getting a win, but insists that this is no cause for alarm.
"You have to understand that when results are not coming...they are human beings, it takes something for them to come out. They need a win to come out, if you don't have that, it is a dark cloud hanging there."
Mosimane adds that he will not be changing his philosophy on his team or the style of play to try and force a result.
"In the life of a coach, there are two things that happen, you are being praised or criticised. Sometimes you are cricitised unfairly and sometimes it is justified.
"It must never affect your life or your career, or your belief in the team and your philosophy of the way we play football. You have to move on."
Next up for Sundowns is an away meeting with Orlando Pirates, a side they crushed 6-0 last season, in the league on Tuesday.
"The Pirates of 6-0... it was a honeymoon," Mosimane reminisced. "Now is reality, but you have to go through this.
"You can say there is a [positive] history of us beating Pirates 6-0, now there is a [negative] history of losing three games in a row. It's the way it is."