‘Three wise men’ not impressed with Sundowns start in league title defence
Second-placed Sundowns trail log leaders Pirates by just one point.
Mamelodi Sundowns brain trust – Rulani Mokwena (left), Manqoba Mngqithi (middle) and Steve Komphela. (Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Most of the teams in the top flight will be happy if they find themselves sitting on the second spot of the DStv Premiership after the opening five games, but with Mamelodi Sundowns, the pressure is so much that they are not comfortable with having anyone sitting above them on the log.
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Sundowns trail leaders Orlando Pirates by just a point and Downs co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the reason why they are not at the summit is because things did not go according to plan in the first circle.
“The first cycle did not go according to our plan. Our plan must always give us more points than what we got. The other side of that is that sometimes when we start very well, we don’t finish well. I remember in the season when we won the league with 71 points, our first cycle of five matches gave us a return of seven points and we improved from there,” said Mngqithi.
“Last season we got 13 points from the first cycle but the later cycles were not good like those in the beginning. We have a bigger responsibility to look at this thing and see where we went wrong. We know we could have done better.”
Sundowns suffered a 1-0 defeat to a hard running TS Galaxy and were held to a one-all draw by Kaitano Tembo’s Sekhukhune United.
“Those two matches leave a blemish in the ultimate outcome. We have a bigger responsibility to try and recover along the way. Maybe when you are playing with the mentality to recover, it’s better for us. We are fully aware that we did not get what we wanted, it is not that bad,” Mngqithi said.
Masandawana will begin their second cycle of five games against rivals SuperSport United, who they faced less than a week ago. The capital city giants are set to square off at the Lucas Moripe Stadium this Friday.
“Playing SuperSport is always a tough match regardless of the frequency of playing them and regardless of the outcome of the previous result. We are expecting another tough encounter because it took us 80 minutes in the previous match to break them down,” said Mngqithi.
“We are going for the same encounter which is fierce and very aggressive, there are a lot of aerial battles. They are a very good team to play against and they are coached by one of the best coaches in the country. We are expecting a very competitive match and we cannot take things for granted,” the Downs mentor added.