Pitso Mosimane has debunked reports that suggest he wants to lure Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile to his Al-Ahly side, branding those reports as “fake news”.
“Jingles” was commenting about Downs youngster Sphelele Mkhulise, who is nicknamed after him as they call him the “Young Pitso” at Chloorkop, but he stopped himself in fear of being accused of wanting to poach players of his former team as he got the better of Masandawana with a 2-0 victory in the first-leg of the quarterfinal on Saturday night in Cairo.
“Everybody says I want Sundowns players. There is a report that I want Shalulile – it is false. The only player Al-Ahly made a formal contact to Sundowns was Gaston Sirino. The rest is just people making up stories and talking,” said Mosimane.
“There has been a lot spoken about me the whole week and I kept quiet. I had to focus here because I had a big game. Sometimes us coaches can get excited and try to dismantle the opponents and I could see that my players were dismantled by the coaches of Sundowns so I didn’t need to do that because I have big respect for Sundowns,” he added.
Going up against his former team for the first time, Mosimane admitted that he had sleepless nights over this fixture, revealing the extensive preparation he did in anticipation of Bafana Ba Style’s visit to the Egyptian capital.
“There was a report that Sundowns does not need to have sleepless nights about Al-Ahly. Well, I had sleepless nights about Sundowns because I’ve worn the jersey and given my heart and soul for the club and I watched seven games of Sundowns and kept quiet and focused, God helped us with the result. This thing has got the heartbeat and Sundowns can turn around this thing. I have big respect for the players and the supporters of Sundowns,” he said.
The return-leg is scheduled for this coming weekend in Pretoria where anything but a master class performance by the hosts will not be enough to see them through to the semifinals.