A battle with TS Galaxy awaits Mamelodi Sundowns as they prepare for their return to domestic league competition on Wednesday night.
A good run of form overall has seen Masandawana remain in the top position in the league. In their opening DStv Premiership games, The Brazilians won one game against Chippa United, followed by a 1 -1 draw with Baroka FC before embarking on their continental cup competition. Downs Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi believes that the team, which recently slayed the Egyptians 1 – 0 in the CAF Champions League will carry their momentum ahead of their visit to Mbombela Stadium.
“I think the win against Al Ahly raised our spirits, we had not played some of our best football in the previous matches up until the game against Al Merrikh where we were all satisfied. Even [against] Baroka I think we were a little bit satisfied with how we played, unfortunate with the results in both matches the results never favored us, but now you get a big one like this against Al Ahly, everybody is now hyped up and looking forward to continuing where we ended.”
“I think the culture that we have embraced as a club is the culture of wanting to win every match that we play and that culture is seen even in friendly matches that we play. We still give the same intensity, the same willpower, the same willingness to go out and perform. As coaches on the other hand, we also have to be very close to the players and make them understand that these milestones, small as they are, of beating Al Ahly and finding yourself probably in a comfortable space in the league does not mean anything when you have not won any trophy.”
Bafana Ba Style will head into this encounter after three days of rest from North Africa. With 21 matches played in their title defense, Downs will be looking to widen the gap in the Premier Soccer League before they can shift their attention back into Africa’s prestigious silverware.
“It’s very important that they focus all their attention on the matches that we have to play. As it is now in the league, I think every match of the last four or five games it’s going to be a cup final. Everybody must understand that we have a responsibility to the brand, we have a responsibility to our supporters, the board, the president and the chairman of the club to make sure that we are not just satisfied by just one win and a win where we also believe we were not playing our best football.”
The Rockets featured in the DStv Premiership a week ago recording a goalless draw against AmaZulu FC and will also be looking to collect points when they welcome the Tshwane Giants to improve their log position. The Brazilians Coach anticipates that two different sides will meet at the Mbombela Stadium than what we saw at the start of the season.
“TS Galaxy has improved in leaps and bounds ever since Bordon joined the club, I think they play some enterprising football. We were fortunate to get a friendly during the mid-season preparations just to see what they offer, and we have seen them in the previous matches that they have just played. They have done very well even in the Nedbank Cup, so we are looking at this game very closely.”
“We believe that we’ve got the capacity to unsettle them, but we know very well we are not going to be playing pushovers. We are playing a team that is well trained, and a team that plays very interesting football.”
Mamelodi Sundowns do battle with TS Galaxy in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday. Kick off is at 19h30, live on SuperSport.