Al Hilal coach Joao Motta has attributed his team’s 2-4 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns over the weekend to his players’ poor mentality, adding that he was not afraid of the axe.
The Portuguese coach said this in a post-match interview after the CAF Champions League Group A game played in Sudan.
“It was not a happy day at all because we suffered a severe loss to an opponent who plays simple football,” Sudan Telegraph newspaper quoted Motta saying.
Motta said the loss was surprising considering that the build up to the match was characterised by a positive response from his players in training.
“…everyone was chanting my name in the final training session,” he said.
“I also received a number of encouraging messages from Al Hilal fans.”
Motta added: “[Now] some want to have me sacked. You have to change your mentalities. I am here to develop Al Hilal’s performance. What is the benefit of sacking the coach after every setback?” I go with my family and enjoy [at home] then find another opportunity at another club.”
The Portuguese said individual errors cost them the game and was quick to take responsibility for the loss that leaves Al Hilal bottom of the group with four points.
“I did not hold any player responsible and I bear the consequences of the loss. This is the case for football. We have to forget the Sundowns round and focus on the Al-Ahly match, in which we need to win in order to qualify for the next round of the tournament,” Motta said.
Al Hilal can only qualify to the last-eight stage with a big win over Al Ahly who also need a win at all cost, as the holders have seven points while lying on second place.
Third-placed Al Merreikh also have four points.