When Pitso fights, he fights
The Sundowns coach dominated conversations leading up to the top-of-the-table clash with his continued insistence that Chiefs find themselves at the top of the PSL standings because they have benefited from poor officiating. He said whenever he was given a chance to talk about the game, achieving two things - putting a lot of scrutiny on match officials and making this a grudge match of some sorts.
It wasn’t surprising then to see a tense affair at halftime when the police and security guards stepped in to separate him and Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp when the two were talking with the referee’s assistant. Mosimane and Middendorp both insisted that they didn’t say anything to each other during the skirmish, as they were their focussed on the officials.
“I don’t speak to Ernst,” Mosimane said. “When he speaks at Thomas Mlambo’s show (Soccerzone), I spoke. When he won against Benni (McCarthy, Cape Town City coach), he put the honourable what-what and I tell him about his tourism, that he has been doing in the last seven years in football and how he benefits. I will tell him. I don’t start, but I will give back. I will never allow him to say anything because I’ve got more. I can drop them, every day he speaks. I’ve got a lot against him. Remember when he said that the PSL is against him? And then he realised that this is too much, let me leave. We stay when we don’t benefit. If he gives me, I give back. You know the story, I’ll never let you go (freely). Why? Because I stand up for myself.”
Mosimane is well known for his outspoken nature. He is frank and unapologetic in raising concerns whenever he feels that he is being undone. That has made him a cult figure at Sundowns while antagonising rival fans with his sharp tongue. His tongue has landed him in hot water with the PSL who gave him a record fine (R100 000, the maximum permissible). But that hasn’t dampened his mood to fight for himself and his team.
“I speak! Why not? I don’t hold back because maybe I am killing my chances of coaching another team next year or something. No! My heart is here, when I fight, I fight. I don’t care who I fight against, for my team I fight. I don’t think that maybe I have said too much about this team and maybe I won’t get a job. Excuse me. I don’t play in that space. I wear my heart on my sleeve and when I fight, I fight,” Mosimane said.
“And we are going to fight for the league. We fought with them (Chiefs) for the league before and then they gave way. And then came Wits, they gave way. There was (Orlando) Pirates in the last two years, they gave way. So, we fight again. The common denominator is us fighting for the league for the last six years. You must have endurance if you want to fight with us. You must go six years. We are here. One match doesn’t mean anything.”