City threat – Papic factor concerns Schut

September 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm
Posted under: Latest Local News, Top News

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Alje Schut
Mamelodi Sundowns captain Alje Schut

IT was at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane where Mamelodi Sundowns, last season’s eventual champions, learned the hard way not to underestimate Absa Premiership minnows Polokwane City.

As the Brazilians return to the same venue on Sunday to face a possibly rejuvenated City side, Downs skipper Alje Schut has warned them to stay switched on.

The defender, who has been nursing an ankle injury for the past month, said City’s new coach, Kosta Papic, makes the Limpopo team more of a threat because of his attacking approach. His first game in charge was a 2-2 draw against AmaZulu.

City were 1-0 winners last year after Downs defender Tebogo Langerman gifted them an own goal, leading to coach Pitso Mosimane’s now infamous “even Barcelona lose” statement.

“I remember I missed that game because I was sick,” recalled Schut.

It was a major shock and I think that team has changed. They’ve got a lot more experience in the players that they brought in as well as a new coach in Papic, who we all know very well.”

Sundowns have not had the best of starts and have allowed last season’s runners-up Kaizer Chiefs to again set the pace following an unbeaten run of six Premier League matches. Mosimane’s team is currently fifth on the log, eight points off the pace.

“It’s very simple, we need to win Sunday’s game. We’ve recovered well since the [Orlando] Pirates game [Downs were hammered 3-0 at home when Schut got injured].

“We were starting to lose ground on Chiefs, but did well to win against AmaZulu and [Bloemfontein] Celtic,” said Schut.

Meanwhile, hopes are high at Sundowns after the rapid recovery from injury of one of their best players, Khama Billiat.

The gifted Zimbabwean attacking winger, who suffered a bad foot fracture towards the end of last season, is a different calibre of player. He returns just in time for the Brazilians’ clash against City.

Downs also welcomed back other talented players from the sick bay in flighty forward Anthony Laffor, skilful Lindokuhle Mbatha and forward Lebohang Mokoena.

But Katlego Mashego, Surprise Moriri and Rodney Ramagalela are still out injured.

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