De Reuck says Sundowns not bothered by festive season games

On the eve of Christmas day, Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rushine de Reuck says playing during the festive season is something new. However, he adds that it’s not a train smash for them.

Sundowns will be crossing swords with in-form Cape Town City in the DStv Premiership at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Kick-off time is at 3:30pm.

Preparations for Afcon

Around this time of the year, the entire Premier Soccer League (PSL) is usually on a December break. Players and coaches are enjoying the festive season with their families.

However, this year has been different. There is full-on football activity due to the upcoming 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). The tournament is set to take centre stage in Ivory Coast from January 13 to  February 11.

Ahead of what is expected to be an exciting game of football between Sundowns and City, De Reuck said their mentality is still the same as when the season started, which is to always win games.

All about player mentality

“For us, it doesn’t really matter [playing during this period] as players we have a responsibility to win every game. [They have to] be prepared for each game, it doesn’t matter if it’s festive or not. We need to win and that’s our mentality,” De Reuck said.

Masandawana go toe-to-toe with a City side that has won six of their last eight league matches. They are also currently inside the top four on the league standings.

Despite Sundowns winning 11 matches on a trot and not showing any signs of slowing down, De Reuck said they are wary of the threat the Citizens pose. He singled out some of the players that are likely to cause trouble for them.

Wary of opponents, but ready

“It’s going to be a very challenging game for us. They’ve shown this season that they are a good team. [The team has] been very competitive, and that’s why you see them winning so many games,” he said.

“But for us, we need to take it as every other game and try our best to win it.

“They have a lot of good players in their team. Guys like Jaedin Rhodes, Taahir Goedeman, Khanyisa Mayo. They’ve been doing so well for the team. So, we need to try our best to neutralise them.”

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