Mokwena on Sundowns vs Polokwane: ‘Complacency is not within our budget’

10 March 2021 - 11:18 By mahlatse mphahlele
Rulani Mokwena, centre, says the clash against Polokwane City is one of their crucial games of this season.
Rulani Mokwena, centre, says the clash against Polokwane City is one of their crucial games of this season.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/ Backpagepix/ Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns will not allow complacency to creep in when they take on GladAfrica Championship side Polokwane City during their Nedbank Cup last-16 clash at Loftus on Wednesday.

Defending champions the Brazilians and City go into this clash looking to book a place in the quarterfinal stage, where Orlando Pirates is waiting for the winner, as the draw has already been conducted.

The match is only taking play on Wednesday as Sundowns have been busy with their Caf Champions League commitments where they lead their group with nine points from three matches.

“We don’t deal with complacency‚ we don’t have possibilities to allow that to creep in‚” said co-coach Rulani Mokwena.

“Complacency is not within our budget because we have extreme high demands‚ goals and targets that we have set ourselves.

“That means the price that we have to pay is extreme and it talks to our mental state with regards to how we approach each and every game.

“But definitely, this is one of the most important games for us this season.”

Mokwena said City are a dangerous team as they have been doing well in the National First Division with their individual and experienced players who can upset anyone on their day.

“It’s a very big game for us and we cannot over-emphasise its magnitude.

“We are playing against a rejuvenated side that has a new coach and their last four results are two wins and two draws.

“With the profile of some very good players who they have kept from their PSL side we are going to have to work extremely hard to score.

“Their back four has very good players, with centrebacks Nicholas Motloung and Mzwandile Buthelezi, and they have a very good left-back in Dillon Goss.

“They also have good goalkeepers in Cyril Chabwe and Lehlohonolo Phali.

“They build up very well from the back and in the midfield they still have someone like Danny Phiri to consolidate and give them possibilities to deal better with second balls.

“Up front‚ Charlton Mashumba‚ Puleng Tlolane and Lesiba Nku are still there‚ so they are not just the team with energy but they also have individuals who are able to give good performances and possibilities to influence results.”

City were relegated from the Premier Division as last-placed finishers in 2019-20.