Mamelodi Sundowns to show off squad depth

Mamelodi Sundowns to show off squad depth

The big squad assembled by Mamelodi Sundowns is finally being put to the test with matches crammed close together for the defending DStv Premiership champions.

Downs beat TS Galaxy away to Nelspruit on Tuesday, and host high-flying Sekhukhune United on Saturday at Loftus Stadium - all this a week after wins against SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs.

Coach Rulani Mokwena confirms the technical team used the nearly two-month Fifa World Cup break with this in mind.

"We knew about the schedule before going to the mini mid-season break and we worked a little bit hard on training every player. To make sure that every player is ready.

In a big club, you always have to be ready to play every two or three days. The depth allows us to give opportunities, confidently so and put faith and trust in each and every player in the team," Mokwena said.

Sundowns will need a united group ahead of the Caf Champions League group stages from next month, where travelling will mean Mokwena has to balance the demands of the domestic fixtures as well as on the continent.

"The only solution to a hectic schedule is freshness and rotation, to make everybody feel they are part of the process. Others have played only three or four matches and we've played seven games in 24 days.

It's not easy because that means there's no training. There's not enough time but we are working a little bit hard to make sure that we continue to improve the team and improve the individual players that are within the team," he added.

With a 13-game winning streak and continuing to extend the club record, Sekhukhune are also a team in form since coach Brandon Truter arrived during the mini-break.

"Tough team, they play with invented fullbacks. They're very similar with how Truter's Swallows team played. Of course, with different players and different individual qualities make it a little bit more different but some very good players in the team," he added.

Mokwena acknowledges it’s crucial not to undermine Truter’s side because of the make-up of their squad too.

"It's going to be a very difficult game but we do our analysis of the game. Pick up the things that we have to pick up and improve and then we'll do an oppositional analysis after that.

But step by step, one day at a time and continue to work with a lot of calmness and our feet on the ground," Mokwena concluded.