Mamelodi Sundowns have always rued the traveling part of football but this time they do not have to worry about spending long hours at the airport and sitting in the bus as they will just make a short trip to the University of Pretoria where they will face Sekhukhune at the Tuks Stadium.
Having played three of their last five games on the road, Downs feel like they will be playing at home in the newly found capital city derby.
However, there are some complaints about the short turnaround time between matches as they come at the back of a DStv Premiership draw with rivals SuperSport United on Wednesday evening.
“The most important thing is the recovery process but at this point we already know what we are going to face and lucky for us we are playing in Pretoria, we don’t have to do a lot of travelling. Playing at Tuks is not much of a struggle for us because we feel like it is a home game,” said Downs player Neo Maema.
“They had a longer period of rest and we expect them to come motivated because they won their last game against Royal AM and playing a big club like ours is motivation in itself. It will be a tough battle, we know what to expect and we need to apply ourselves accordingly to get maximum points over the weekend,” he added.
His opposite number, Cheslyn Jampies, insists that his side are capable of holding their own against the defending champions as they look to narrow Masandawana’s lead. Sekhukhune are third on the log with 20 points, tailing Sundowns by seven.
“A pivotal part of the club’s belief is the respect that we show to opponents and we have to respect that Sundowns are a very good team and have a number of well-known and capable players and they have a lot of experience in the technical team,” said Jampies.
He adds: “It is going to be another hard for us but the reason we have been doing so well is that we are a very humble team and there is no substitute for hard work and effort which is what the players are giving. As much as we will give them the respect,
“I believe that when two teams meet, whoever wants it the most on the day is normally the team that comes out victorious, but we are always willing to learn and we are bunch of players who are willing to take the bulls by the horn and run with it.”