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‘Mamelodi Sundowns' Mokwena warns against complacency, reveals why Erasmus, Safranko and Lakay left

20:58 SAST 2022/10/02
Rhulani Mokwena, Head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns instructs Lyle Lakay of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained why Pavol Safranko, Kermit Erasmus and Lyle Lakay were allowed to leave the club.
  • Three were released in the recently concluded transfer window
  • Sundowns wanted to avoid players resting on their laurels
  • Lakay and Erasmus joined Masandawana’s PSL opponents

WHAT HAPPENED? Safranko had his contract mutually terminated as Masandawana brought on board Marcelo Allende and Abubaker Nasir.

Lakay joined Cape Town City in an exchange deal that saw Terence Mashego join the Premier Soccer League champions. Kermit Erasmus also had his contract terminated and he consequently joined Orlando Pirates, his previous club.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "You could easily transfer this to life. Of course, football gives you microscopic reflections of how life is," Mokwena said, as quoted by Soccer Laduma.

"Where in a certain moment in your house, you have this beautiful couch that you bought, and it was very expensive at the time you wanted it.

"By the time you use it and overuse it, there is this certain level of complacency that can creep in, and when complacency creeps in, there is generally a level of comfort.

"When you're comfortable or too comfortable, in fact, if you do not generate some form of discomfort by maybe moving the couch into a different corner and maybe buying a different lampstand next to the couch," he explained.

"So that it generates its colour again, then maybe it's a bit appealing to the eye because maybe what it needed was a different light to be next to it.

"Not that the value of the couch has decreased, but maybe you needed to change the surroundings. You needed to change where it was put or what it was put next to.

"And that's life because if you get to that level of comfort, there are very easy levels of complacency that creep in, and for teams that are big teams, you're not allowed to get into that space because.

"The more complacent you are, as I said before, we want things to be difficult for us because we want to be in a space where we are sharpened by the opposition. Part of our work is to stimulate our players not to get into levels of comfort.

"So you try to strike some discomfort and sometimes that discomfort comes in changing players, which I don't think we've done that quite a lot since we've been here."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: As the Pretoria club let the trio leave, they signed Ronwen Williams and Sipho Mbule - both from SuperSport United, Bongani Zungu from Amiens, and Abdelmounaim Boutouil from Morocco’s Chabab Mohammedia.

Among the new signings, Williams has consistently been used as a regular starter as he has been preferred ahead of his experienced rivals; Denis Onyango and Kennedy Mweene.

WHAT NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS: They will shift focus to the Caf Champions League and PSL games after Saturday’s MTN 8 Cup goalless clash against Orlando Pirates.

The decisive second leg of the cup semi-final against the Sea Robbers will be held on October 22.