Koketso Ramorei
2 minute read
3 Mar 2016
3:02 pm

Freese faces dilemma

Koketso Ramorei

Highlands Park coach Allan Freese finds himself in a precarious position.

Allan Freese and Pitso Mosimane. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

He has to decide whether to invest every single resource to their Nedbank Cup fixture against Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday afternoon or prioritise the battle for promotion to the PSL.

Freese’s charges are third on the National First Division standings with 39 points from 21 games – four points behind log leaders Baroka FC.

But Freese’s message to the The Lions of the North is simple: “I’ve said to the players that they should come out and enjoy the occasion, the feel and get the experience so that if we do well, it can become a weekly thing where we play top quality football and top quality teams.

“I told my players that if they win on Sunday, they play another game. If you lose, you watch on TV.”

On paper, Sundowns are expected to send Highlands Park crashing out in the first round. The Brazilians are in terrifying form, having gone 22 games unbeaten in all domestic competitions, 18 in the Absa Premiership.

The Tshwane side have also progressed to the next round of the Caf Champions League, where they will face Congo side AC Leopards.

Downs coach Pitso Mosimane has already promised a fully fledged squad to compete in the competition.

Part of Freese’s mandate will not only be claiming a massive victory over Mosimane’s charges, but attempting to dispatch the defending Ke Yona champions, and he believes he has a capable squad.

“It helps to have ex-PSL players in our side, they bring in that experience. They can calm the younger ones’ nerves.

“One thing we mustn’t forget is that in the NFD we are restricted to five Under-23s and on Sunday we won’t be.

“We all know what they can do. They have quality players, a quality team and a quality coach. We should be disciplined in our approach. If we sleep, we’ll get punished.”