As though Manqoba Mngqithi took leaf from Anita Baker’s No More Tears hit song, he says the tears have dried out at Chloorkop after Mamelodi Sundowns were left distressed following an unexpected exit from the Caf Champions League.
The Downs co-head coach says his team has a belief system of going through the emotions for a specific period of time before they shift their focus on to the next assignment.
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“We have a 24-hour rule and this has been entrenched in the minds of the players. For every setback of happiness, we still have to focus on the next match even if we win a big match, we celebrate for 24 hours,” said Mngqithi, who had to watch the hopes of a second continental title crushing down this past weekend after a 1-1 draw with Petro Atletico and lost the overall tie 3-2 on aggregate.
“Now we must be angry for 24 hours, feel bad, cry a bit and after 24 hours we must come back because we have a big match on Wednesday. We have to play that match well and win the league and maybe that can help us to come back stronger and help us understand who we are. We still have the Nedbank Cup in front of us and we cannot afford to dwell too much on what we cannot change. It is no longer in our hands.
The veteran mentor’s team might have taken some stick from supporters of their rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, seemingly suggesting that Masandawana spend a lot of money on transfers but still cannot win the so-called holy grail again. But Mngqithi says this is common across the world of football.
“Imagine how much investment Paris Saint Germain have put in to win the Champions League. They still have to work hard to make sure that they achieve what they want to achieve. Maybe we also have a responsibility to dig deep until we get what we want. Manchester City and every other big team are in that space. Unfortunately you try and it does not happen,” said Mngqithi.