Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane wants
more protection for his star playmaker Gaston Sirino from PSL referees.
Sirino was a target of much criticism on social media in the
aftermath of Sundowns' 2-0 defeat to SuperSport United last Wednesday for
pushing Clayton Daniels and then slapping Dean Furman after the pair squared up
to him in a heated exchange.
The Uruguayan playmaker was branded as 'dirty' for his
antics but Mosimane has taken an entirely different view altogether on the
matter and seemed to suggest that his player was provoked.
"If you look at the footage, I am not saying he didn't
react. I am not saying that but look at Clayton Daniels. He is the first to lay
a hand on his face and then comes Dean Furman, he lays his hand on the face. I
mean the guy is small like the lady here. Who should protect him? He reacts.
It's normal," said Mosimane.
"I am not saying he must punch people or what, what. If
he punches, give him a red card, no problem. Those who lay a hand on him, give
them yellow. Go to Clayton, give him yellow. Go to Dean, give him yellow. By
the way, Dean was on yellow, so let him off. Take Sirino out. Yes, it's okay.
"But somebody must protect Sirino. How can we have a
technical player like this, and we don't protect them? So, we want them off
because everybody puts his hand on his face, and he reacts because he is small.
What is it going to do? The bullies are going to do what they have to do, to
send him off."
'Jingles' has since urged the 'bullies' to pick on someone
their own size next time - the likes of Wayne Arendse or Denis Onyango.
"I want them to go to Wayne Arendse, I want Dean to go
to Arendse and put a hand on his face," said the Masandawana mentor.
"I want Clayton to go to Arendse or Denis. Heavyweight
to heavyweight. If you're a big boy, go to Denis. You know how big is the hand
Sirino is crucial to the Sundowns' cause and topped the
assist charts last season for the defending champions, laying on six goals for
his teammates in the Absa Premiership.