The former Masandawana defender has called for more support for the team as it struggles in the league
Former Mamelodi Sundowns defender Jethro Mohlala has admitted that Themba Zwane’s absence has hurt the club.
The retired full-back also feels Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has had to find new combinations in the heart of the park.
Although Mohlala insists the Brazilians do not rely on individuals, he stated that the loss to Kaizer Chiefs can be attributed to lack of luck as Zwane was a notable absentee.
Moreover, he warned the Sundowns supporters that heading to Golden Arrows on Sunday is not going to be a walk in the park because coach Steve Komphela has built a formidable squad.
“Unfortunately, injuries are part of football, but we have to admit Zwane has left a void in the midfield,” Mohlala told Goal.
“He has been one of the consistent performers for Sundowns and that has left the coach to find new combinations to ensure the team continues with winning.
“It’s not fair to say Sundowns relies on certain players, of course, Zwane and (Gaston) Sirino are very important players, but he has had to find new partnerships and sadly the results cannot be guaranteed.”
“He tried to reshuffle against Chiefs, Chippa United and against Baroka without Zwane and we can see the difference. However, there’s quality there and the players have to show up, whoever gets a chance must deliver
“I don’t think the problem is with the midfield at Sundowns because even if you look at the loss to Chiefs, you can see they created chances but it’s just a matter of having luck in the final third.”
On the next match against Arrows, the former Bafana Bafana international has warned many as the clash is dubbed as the rehearsal for the upcoming Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final encounter between the two teams.
“If you call it a rehearsal then you are inviting problems and not respecting the opponent. That sounds like an insult to Golden Arrows,” he warned.
“At Sundowns every opponent is given the respect it deserves and I expect a tough game in Durban.
“We couldn’t beat Baroka and why do you call the clash a rehearsal? It sounds like a walk in the park for me and that will not be the case on Sunday,” he added.
“It will be good to win and retain the momentum going to the next match, but Arrows are one of the best performing teams in the league and they are at home. It’s going to be a fight there.”
Speaking about the reigning PSL champions’ progress in their title defence campaign, Mohlala has called for calm from the supporters as many have started to point fingers at ‘Jingles’.
“Sitting second having played nine games is not a bad achievement in my view. We know Sundowns usually start slow but that is not a guarantee that they will rediscover their form in the end,” he expressed.
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“It’s still a long way and the Champions League is coming. Unfortunately, I’m not someone to talk about the referees but we know they have been unfortunate.
“Pitso knows his squad and I see people are critical on social media and I want to urge them to remain patient. People say Sundowns is nothing without Zwane and Sirino, but there are quality players that can do the job,” he added.
“Let the supporters not panic because I know they are waiting for the club to win trophies and the league, but football is like that, you win and lose. The guys are doing well so far, we need to support them.”