Egos are good for the team, says Sundowns skipper
Mamelodi Sundowns skipper Alje Schut says he has no concerns over the number of star players at the club, claiming a healthy amount of confidence and arrogance will help the Chloorkop team challenge for trophies this season.
“We have a lot of egos and a lot of characters... and I think that’s a good thing,” the Dutchman said at Sundowns’ team base at Chloorkop on Tuesday.
“I don’t mean it in a bad way. If you see characters and egos, that means you think you’re good. And, if you’re a good player, you don’t want to lose.
“I see a winning mentality and I see guys who want to show that they’re the best and that’s very good.” With a host of internationally-capped players plying their trade for coach Pitso Mosimane’s team, the Brazilians have often been criticised for spending beyond their needs, acquiring new players every season.
With no less than 15 new signings before the start of the season, including Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Zimbabwean star Khama Billiat and former Bafana Bafana striker Katlego Mashego — last season’s top goal-scorer — Sundowns boast probably the strongest squad in the Premier Soccer League.
Despite several first team regulars having been relegated to the bench this season, Schut believed the entire team were unified in their desire to win not only the Premiership, but the Telkom Knockout cup competition as well.
“We’ve got a big squad, we’ve got good players, but we also have an honest coach,” Schut said.
“He’s straight[forward] and he’s fair, so if you should be playing, you would be playing.
“No coach will name a team he doesn’t feel comfortable with and he (Mosimane) always puts out the strongest 11 where he thinks he can win the game.
“I think the guys who have been on the bench and in the stands have been very supportive and that’s our strength this season.” Shifting his attention to the weekend, where Sundowns take on Bloemfontein Celtic in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout, Schut praised the Free State side and warned that Celtic posed a formidable threat early in the competition.
“They’re just a really good team. They have a great coach and he plays from a good structure,” he said.
“I think they’ve been a little bit unlucky in the first few games of the season.
“They’re better than where they are on the log.” Having failed to qualify for the first cup tournament of the season — the MTN8 — after finishing outside of the top eight teams on the Premiership log last season, Schut said the team were itching for cup action and the more games Sundowns could play, the better.
“It’s been awful because we’ve only played five matches so far and we’re already three months into the season,” Schut said.
“We played two, then we had a rest for two-and-a-half weeks. Then we played two more and had another a rest for two or three weeks... that’s terrible.
“You see [Kaizer] Chiefs and [Orlando] Pirates play and you want to be there.”