Brazilians shift their focus to MTN8 clash against Swallows

Having started the season with two victories in their opening two league matches, Mamelodi Sundowns will now shift their focus to cup action as they prepare to face Moroka Swallows in the MTN8 quarterfinal battle.

The fixture against the Dube Birds holds immense significance considering they are being coached by Coach Steve Komphela who spent the last three years with the Tshwane giants. This, according to Coach Rulani Mokwena, will be a crucial factor in the clash.

“We are facing a coach whom we know very well and who is in charge of a team that is very tough to beat. They are a strong side with good players and we are ready to set aside any obstacles to give our best. Football ultimately belongs to the players because they are the ones on the pitch. We have to do the right things at the right time to succeed against our opponents,” said the Sundowns coach.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash, the Johannesburg-born tactician showered praise on his team, who have secured victories in their first two games of the season for the first time since 2010/11.

“The team deserves significant credit for the effort they have displayed thus far. I am truly excited by the way several players have elevated their game and how seamlessly the new signings have become part of the team. We expect that these players continue to work as a unit and it can only get better from here. We have to keep striving to improve our performances and the results,” states Coach Rulani.

The Brazilians clinched the Wafa Wafa Cup in 2021 but fell short at the semi-final stage last year at the hands of Orlando Pirates. Coach Mokwena is confident that his team is well-prepared to surpass their performance from the previous campaign.

“We find ourselves in a space where there is pressure to win every game, considering that we operate within a high-performance environment. Nevertheless, this pressure is what drives us to continually improve and strive for excellence. Our focus is on maintaining consistency and delivering our best on every occasion. The experience gained from the previous season serves as a valuable lesson and we are determined to take each game as it comes,” said the Bafana Ba Style coach.

Despite only securing one point from their opening two games, Captain Themba Zwane believes the Dube Birds cannot be taken for granted.

“We anticipate a highly physical match and expect them to employ long ball tactics against us. They possess fast players who have the potential to create issues for opposing teams. Nevertheless, we are fully prepared for whatever challenges they might present,” Mshishi stated.

With Masandawana set to compete in six different competitions this season, Zwane is confident that everyone within the team is prepared for the demanding schedule ahead.

“It’s all about taking things one step at a time. However, I am part of a dressing room filled with players and coaches who are determined to fight for every trophy available. This thirst for continuous success defines us as a football club. Collectively, we share a vision of consistently giving everything we have in every competition we participate in. On a personal level, I am always striving to be in the best possible shape to meet the demands of the busy football calendar, which is a regular occurrence at Sundowns,” Themba added.

Apart from facing Coach Komphela on Saturday, Sundowns will also have the opportunity to play against their former midfielder Andile Jali, who spent five trophy-laden years at Chloorkop.

Mamelodi Sundowns have clinched the MTN8 competition four times, while their opponents, Swallows, have won it three times, with their most recent victory in 2012.

 

2 Responses
  1. Mzimela

    Cause of Sundowns. not winning man 8.always start season with new players similar situation this season’s last seasons we. Well oil machine but.now lose that rhythm because new member also change playing system where are SIrino. Morena Ntando and others how can substituted both Shalulile and Zwane thats mean u invite opponent to attacks

  2. Boh

    Mzimela our coaches will always want to prove..a point on the media….who is so far better then Sirino…..with this bluffing us that he’s injured by who….next thing you will hear him playing for Mamkhize…I’m telling you..yes we bought good players they should be blending..with our current squad..not..playing them..first 11..and course devision…next thing how are expecting the guys to blend..and support those who made 11 man….our current President is folding his arms…I blame Sugar..he played here..and..see exactly what I’m talking about