Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
23 Mar 2021
11:45 am

Catch-up pressure causing Mamelodi Sundowns anxiety

Ntokozo Gumede

The Brazilians are behind in the domestic schedule as they are juggling their Caf Champions League commitments with local football.

Manqoba Mngqithi, co-coach of Mamelodi Sundowns (Picture: Kabelo Leputu/BackpagePix)

If it was up to Manqoba Mngqithi he would preferred to have played the same number of games as Mamelodi Sundowns’ rivals for DStv Premiership honours.

ALSO READ: Sundowns slip to Leopards draw

He said on Monday that the pressure to catch-up brings about a certain level of anxiety.

Sundowns dropped points in their 18th league game against Black Leopards, who held them to a 1-1 draw, while every other team in the top five have played 20 or 21 games.

The Brazilians are behind in the domestic schedule as they are juggling their Caf Champions League commitments with local football.

“Being ahead or being behind schedule is not always the best for any team. You want to be in the pack and play the same number of games, but we understand the circumstances. We cannot blame the league because we know we have had far too many matches,” said Mngqithi.

“Maybe this is the same thing that will happen to (Orlando) Pirates because they have only played two games in the group stages (of the Caf Confederation Cup) and we have played four. Already that says they will be in the same scenario where they will have to catch up somewhere.

“When you are playing a game where you are under pressure to get a result, the anxiety can cause problems,” Mngqithi said.

The Downs co-head coach, however, also lamented the draw against rock-bottom Lidoda Duvha, saying his team had no business drawing against the league’s worst-performing team.

“I don’t think this is a match that we should have drawn. Looking at the quality of the chances that we got, we were supposed to have buried the match. It is very unfortunate that we couldn’t win because in as much as they got the point, they did not pose much of a threat in our box. Maybe we took it for granted thinking it was going to be an easy game.”

Mosa Lebusa scored for Downs and Rodrick Kabwe equalised late for Leopards.

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