New Game, Same Mentality

  • New game, same winning mentality ahead of Downs clash in MTN 8, says Seema.

Bloemfontein Celtic coach Lehlohonolo Seema has urged his troops not to get ahead of themselves prior to their encounter with Mamelodi Sundowns tomorrow (Sat).

Celtic take on Mamelodi Sundowns in the last fixture on Saturday at 20:15 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium while MTN8 defending champions Cape Town City battle it out with Polokwane City in the opening act of the 2019/20 edition of the cup competition.

Benni McCarthy’s side won the trophy last season after beating SuperSport United in the final on penalties.

Siwelele head into the match coming from a resounding victory over Abafana Bes’thende this past Sunday. 

Despite the 5-0 thrashing of his opponents, Celtic head coach Lehlohonolo Seema has urged his charges to remain grounded ahead of their clash with Sundowns.

“We secured the necessary three points, especially at home, which is always a good thing. But that game is behind us now. We have Sundowns in front of us and that is what we are focused on and anything else of the past should not deter us,” Seema told The Weekly.

While conceding that the victory against Arrows was a massive morale booster for his team, he cautioned that it should not run to the head.

“Our positive from that game heading into this one is that if we stick to the game plan and make use of opportunities, we win the game. And that’s all that should be occupying our mind,” the former Lesotho captain added.

Unfazed by talks of Siwelele being the underdogs ahead of the game, the former Orlando Pirates captain who began his coaching career in 2013 as Ernst Middendorp’s assistant, remains adamant that gone are those days of big or small teams.

“The game of football is no longer viewed through that lens. We’ve seen over the years that the so-called small teams are equally capable of playing against so-called big teams and beating them in the process, convincingly for that matter. Therefore to say a certain team has already won before the game is even played in itself questionable,” he noted. 

The retired central defender feels Celtic did not deserve to lose to Orlando Pirates in their opening league match of the new campaign.

“We played very well against Pirates but we failed to collect the maximum points,” the former Lesotho captain added.

Having redeemed themselves against Arrows, Seema stressed the importance of guarding against complacency as he looks to ensure his charges develop a winning habit.

“However, we need to guard against complacency after winning with such a huge margin. The players should remain grounded,” he continued.

“While we have to make sure winning becomes a habit, we need to be switched on ahead of our match and win it,” he concluded.

Two-time champions Orlando Pirates will tomorrow play Highlands Park – a side that is still trying to negotiate a first appearance in the MTN8 final.

On Sunday, Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United – two clubs that have won this trophy before (Bidvest Wits in 2016 and SuperSport United in 2017) – will clash at the Bidvest Stadium at 15:00.

By: Thapelo Molebatsi