SuperSport United may be comfortably sitting summit of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge log standings after the first round of matches, but coach Godfrey Mosoetsa believes his troops can offer more mentally.
In match-day one of the newly expanded Diski Challenge seasons, SuperSport made the boldest statement of their intentions, hammering strugglers Maritzburg United by 5-1 to climb to pole position – thanks to goals from Oswin Appolis, Bilal Baloyi, Khanyisile Mayo and Sithembiso Kurata, who scored a brace for his side. Knowledge Miyeni, did, however, get his team’s consolation.
Considering that Matsantsantsa A Priori and the Team of Choice concluded the business in the first half – with neither team getting on the scoreboard in the second – Mosoetsa believes his team nearly cost themselves by not coming into the fore in the last 45 minutes of the game.
“If you could have asked me in the first half (about the performance), I could have given you a different answer. We started well in the first half and did the right things and in the second, we just gave a very poor performance,” Mosoetsa said. “I think it’s something that the players need to work on, but I wouldn’t say it’s a negative attitude. But it’s a poor mental state.”
Having served as the first team’s assistant coach to Keitano Tembo last term, Mosoetsa is adamant his charges will gauge their readiness for top-flight football only if they are consistent throughout the encounter.
“If you look at the two halves, they did well (in the first), but in the second, I don’t even remember us having a single shot at goal,” he explained. “We are quite happy with the results and the three points. But in the bigger picture of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, we are looking at preparing players for the PSL.
And having been there, I know what the pressure is. You get certain teams; they’d be leading 5-1 in the first half but in the second they’d still score five more goals. So, imagine if we played 5-4 or lost 6-5, these are the things that they need to start working on.”
However, while it may take time for Mosoetsa to fully instill his philosophy and preferred game-model with the reserves, but he’s already been impressed by striker Khanyisile Mayo. The 20-year-old striker has been with the SuperSport reserves for a couple of years; however, his resurgence came into light the last term, becoming the joint top goal-scorer with Kaizer Chiefs’ striker Sizwe Twala as they scored 12 goals apiece.
But that came into the establishment after Mayo stepped out of his older brother’s shadow, as Khanyisa was shipped off permanently to Glad Africa Championship side Royal Eagles at the beginning of last season. Mayo Jnr though, who’s named after his father Patrick – a former professional football – showed glimpses of maturity in his game on Saturday, delivering an assist and scoring his team’s fifth goal.
“Khanyisile at the moment is training with the first team,” Mosoetsa explained. “We just got them (Mayo and Luke Le Roux) to come and train with us and prepare them for this game. Playing in the PSL, there are only three substitutes that are allowed, while most of the team has 28 or more players. So, playing here gives him the mileage and minutes and the coach (Tembo) will have a look at him and we’ll also give him feedback.”