DURBAN – Supersport United will face their sworn rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns in the Tshwane derby without their talisman, Mxolisi Macupu.
Macupu has been a vital cog for United since joining the club in the January transfer window, and has netted some important strikes for the side.
The diminutive marksman will be serving a one match suspension after accumulating his fourth booking of the season in their game against Kaizer Chiefs last week Friday.
Coach Kaitano Tembo, is mourning the loss of Macupu ahead of the important showdown.
“What can you do? What is disappointing is how he got the yellow card. It was from a long throw and yes, I agree, it was a foul but why book him? I don’t think it was a bookable offence.
For me, it is a big blow because he has been scoring goals. We will miss him against Sundowns. We got to try and soldier on and see who can replace him,” Tembo said.
Though Sundowns are the better positioned of the sides, mathematically, SuperSport are still in the title race.
“The way we are at moment we can’t run away from the fact that we are in it. What is important for us is try and concentrate and make sure that we get points because that’s what keeps us closer and closer.
“We are not far off the leaders. We are in the race and we got to keep fighting,” Tembo added.
United are fifth on the log with 39 points after 24 games, four points behind the log leaders, Sundowns. They will face Sundowns, Polokwane City, AmaZulu, Bidvest Wits, Maritzburg United and Highlands Park in their last six league encounters.
SuperSport won’t play until the April 6 derby, as this upcoming weekend it is a Fifa week and it will be followed by Nedbank Cup fixtures.
They were knocked out of the Cup by Cape Town City in the last 16 of that competition but Tembo is not too bothered by the break.
“We had very good momentum but at the same time it might help us. We don’t have a very big squad. It will give our players an opportunity to recover, especially Bradley Grobler who just came back from injury and he is playing through pain. It will give him a little bit of time to recover and rest.
The same applies to Clayton Daniels. They are all playing through pain. The break will give us more time to prepare for Sundowns,” Tembo said.