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Yellow Nation through to technical staff: Mngqithi praises everyone making Sundowns unstoppable

16 April 2021 - 11:58 By mahlatse mphahlele
Mamelodi Sundowns walking onto the pitch during the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld on April 15 2021 in Pretoria.
Mamelodi Sundowns walking onto the pitch during the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld on April 15 2021 in Pretoria.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

After the thumping 4-1 victory over rivals Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Loftus on Thursday‚ Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mnqgithi had every reason to gloat.

Instead‚ he used the occasion to praise the technical team and backroom staff for their contribution to Sundowns’ impressive season in which they have lost only two matches after 32 starts in all competitions.

Sundowns’ only two defeats in 2020-21 were to Bloemfontein Celtic in the first round of the MTN8 in August and to CR Belouizdad of Algeria in the last match of their Caf Champions League group stages campaign last week.

“We appreciate the support of the players‚ the technical team‚ the support staff and the president‚” Mnqgithi said.

“We are working very well and everybody is working hard. The medical department is bringing players back and we don’t have too many players out injured at this stage.

“The coaching staff are making sure the team is focused on their performance on the field and the support from the Yellow Nation [Sundowns’ supporters] is appreciated because they are forever behind us even though they are not able to come to the stadium and watch the team.”

Mngqithi said all departments at Chloorkop are working in tandem with the one goal of achieving set results, and they have no excuse to fail because they have the resources.

“I think everything is coming together and we must also thank our president [Patrice Motsepe] for affording us the opportunity and supporting us with the resources we have. Not many teams can have substitutes like Hlompho Kekana and Lesedi Kapinga coming from the bench.

“There is proper teamwork. All the departments are working together and we are making sure everything works. Coaches I work with and the analysts are giving their best and I even made mention of the goalkeeper coaches.

“Our goalkeepers have done very well and at times we don’t give credit to these people. It is important to acknowledge everyone from the team because everybody is pulling in the same direction.”

Mngqithi said the game panned out the way they anticipated against Pirates.

“We know if we can press them from the top and put certain pressing traps on individual players we will benefit‚” he said.

“In our analysis‚ we found out that they concede a lot of goals in the early stages of the match. We knew they are prone to making mistakes at that time of the match but what was important for us was to guard against their transition because they are very good.

“In transition they are very dangerous and their counter-pressing is proper. I do believe we could have scored more than eight goals if you look at the chances we created in the first half and you count the number of penalty calls we should have got, the game could have been different.”