Mbuyane: Sundowns need Jali’s experience

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Thulasizwe Mbuyane believes that Mamelodi Sundowns will need Andile Jali’s experience to succeed in the Caf Champions League.

Jail has only played 17 minutes in Sundowns’ last six matches with coach Rulani Mokwena opting for Tebogo Mokoena, Neo Maema, Sipho Mbule, Gaston Sirino and Marcelo Allende.

Despite media reports linking the midfielder away from Chloorkop, Mbuyane is in doubt that Jali will not leave.

“Sundowns have Mbule, Maema and Mokoena in midfield but I believe Jali can still do the job because he is a seasoned campaigner,” says Mbuyane who played with Jali at Pirates.

“They still need go to Africa for the Caf Champions League and they will play a lot of games. Fatigue will come into play and players like Jali will be needed. Sundowns needs a leader on the field and Jali has been there and done that. He can do well even in the DStv Premiership.

Images courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns

He is a matured player and has played so many years in his career. He won’t feel bad if he misses a few matches here and there.

If the team is winning it’s better that you don’t make too many changes and he understands that. You can’t change the way Sundowns plays to suit Jali, the players that are playing are doing well.

He needs to raise up his hands and show the coach that he is still there. He has a lot to offer Sundowns and the coaches still believe in him.”

Sundowns will kick off their Caf Champions League group stage fixtures at home to Al Hilal on February 10 before back-to-back away fixtures against Coton Sport in Cameroon and Al Ahly in Egypt.

“Africa is different, you will need strong men with experience,” Mbuyane adds.

“In Africa, you will get bad hotels, bad transportation system and if you have seasoned campaigners who understand that you have to go there and fight for three, then you will succeed.

That is when Jali will need to bring his experience, slow the game down and frustrate the opponents. Younger players want to play but stages of the game are different.”

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