Sundowns coach Mngqithi on the well-oiled Sundowns machine: 'We even feel bad when we get a draw'
Mamelodi Sundowns “have a responsibility not to lose a lot of matches” was how coach Manqoba Mngqithi explained his team matching the DStv Premiership record of 19 matches unbeaten from the start of a season on Tuesday.
Downs equalled the mark, set by Kaizer Chiefs under Stuart Baxter in 2014-15, with their 3-1 win against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila at Peter Mokaba Stadium. The Brazilians’ winning machine continued to cruise towards another record beating TTM, taking them six points clear (43) at the top of the log with two games in hand of nearest challengers Lamontville Golden Arrows and AmaZulu (both 37).
A league title in 2020-21 will see the third time in succession the defending champions become the first side to win four league titles in a row in SA football.
Sundowns won three PSL titles from 1998 to 2000, and currently have won in 2018, 2019 and 2020; and SuperSport United won three in a row from 2008 to 2010. Orlando Pirates won the old NPSL (National Professional Soccer League) title three times from 1972 to 1974.
Mngqithi was asked after the win against TTM if Sundowns set targets to break records.
“To be honest, as Sundowns we have a responsibility not to lose a lot of matches,” he said.
“We work very hard on instilling that culture. But we are never focused on: how many games have we won, how many games have we drawn?
“We are always focusing on making sure we win every match. We even feel bad when we get a draw.
“Whether it’s a friendly match, be it a practice match, we always want to win at the end of the match. And as for the records, that is for the statisticians and the media.
“As coaches we are focusing on each game as it comes and to give our best shot in every game, which is why even now we have won the match but we are unhappy that we conceded a goal — because that is what we are always playing for.”
Sundowns, under a coaching trio completed by Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela, have lost once in all competitions, including the Caf Champions League, in 2020-21 — 1-0 in the MTN8 opening round against Bloemfontein Celtic way back in October.