Alje Schut wants repeat of Championship season

Injury doubt: Alje Schut. Pic: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns captain Alje Schut, who was the star of the show at the club’s awards ceremony, downplayed his personal milestones and urged his teammates to improve.

The Premiership champions have been rocked by a string of poor performances to start the season, winless in their first two league outings, in addition to a cup defeat in the MTN8.

“For us it’s a good wake-up call because we have now seen that we cannot simply rest on our laurels and we have to work even harder,” the Dutch defender said at the awards function in Pretoria on Monday.

“For me it’s all about the team and no one can be bigger than the team. I am really humbled because I didn’t expect to win the awards. This is for all Masandawana.”

Having steered the club to a first Premiership title in seven years, Schut believed the early campaign hiccups were due to the new signings being integrated.

“We have had a bit of a false start which is funny because we won all our matches in the pre-season.

“We are still trying to find the right combinations and to get the maximum amount of quality out of the new players we’ve signed.”

Schut was confident the club would soon bounce back.

“There are still a lot of games to play and with the quality that my team has I am sure we can turn this corner.”

Sundowns fans were visibly upset with coach Pitso Mosimane after their 1-0 Premiership loss to Ajax Cape Town last week.

The 33-year-old defender said it was too soon for fans to panic.

“Two months ago we won the league, with the same coach and same players. Every team has its ups and downs.”

Schut said he had faith in the hard-working Mosimane.

“He is the right man for Sundowns because he is the one who motivates us.”

The former FC Utrecht player expects the top title contenders Wits, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs to put up an even bigger fight for glory this season.

“We can’t try to think about our title challengers. I have been very impressed with Pirates. And Chiefs have got a great team. And even Wits are good.”

However, Sundowns were trying to improve their own form ahead of encounters against Soweto giants Moroka Swallows on Wednesday and Pirates on August 27.

“The only thing we can do is focus on our team.

“If you look at last season when we won the title with 65 points and that was almost not enough. That shows how strong the league is in South Africa.”


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