Mngqithi not happy about Sundowns being favourites for final

25 May 2022 - 16:46
By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi makes a point at the press conference ahead of the Nedbank Cup final against Marumo Gallants on Saturday.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi makes a point at the press conference ahead of the Nedbank Cup final against Marumo Gallants on Saturday.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi is holding thumbs that all his players who had flu at the weekend will recover in time for the Nedbank Cup final against Marumo Gallants at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.

The Brazilians suffered a flu outbreak that affected a majority of their players in camp after the postponement of their match against Royal AM on Saturday.

“At this stage we are not yet 100% sure but on match day against Royal AM on Monday a lot of the players were already showing signs that they are recovering,” Mngqithi said.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] I met a few who were coming here [Chloorkop] for a shoot and one or two of them were not looking very good but one hopes that when we get the doctor’s update on Wednesday afternoon we will understand what we have for the weekend.”

Saturday's final stands between Sundowns and a rare domestic treble. Mngqithi expressed concern at the psychological complexities that come  with Sundowns being the clear favourites.

“To be honest, and I think I have shared this before, these are some of the matches I don’t like. Matches where you are expected to win and where everybody looks at you as the favourite are very difficult.

“You have a responsibility as a coach to intrinsically motivate the players to understand that the game is just as important as if you were playing any other big team.

“At times you are never too sure how far it has gone. You don’t know what happens with the subconscious mind when you are telling someone how important a match is, and how difficult it can be to play when you are not intrinsically motivated to say, 'I want to win this match at all costs'.

“And not because there is a bonus after the game or anything else but because once there is intrinsic motivation it stands a chance of creating a lot of anxiety within you.

“Once you are anxious, you are bound to make silly mistakes. Anxiety is the biggest enemy of precision, you can’t be precise when you are anxious — that is the only concern that I have.”