Coach Manqoba Previews Highly-Anticipated Affair

Mamelodi Sundowns are continuing with the preparations for this weekend’s highly-anticipated clash with Orlando Pirates in Soweto.
In their last encounter in the previous season, the two teams battled it out in the DStv Premiership with Masandawana recording a stunning 3-0 against the Buccaneers in their backyard ‘esigodini sika maminzela’. The Brazilians are continuing to put together a positive start to their season and have collected points in all their opening games thus far, however Coach Manqoba Mngqithi expressed that they will not be carried away by their recent performances.

“The most important thing when it comes to matches like this is to always have a fair share of humility and respect. [There is] no room for arrogance, we may have done well in the last few matches but we are facing a very good team that is on form and that has just played a very good game against Chippa United.” said coach Manqoba.

“We have to give [the game] the respect it requires and do our work, profile them properly, do our analysis and see which areas can we capitalize on, which areas are they strong on and make sure that we deal with that. We know that Pirates on transition have always been one of the strongest teams in the country but be that as it may, that also becomes a very big weakness on their side.”

With three wins out of their four matches played, Bafana Ba Style will head into the tie at the top of the log and will being looking to secure the win to bolster their advantage. Coach Manqoba is eager to build on his team’s outstanding performance from the previous games played.
“We’ve emphasised on taking care of the process and the process is the number of points that we want to achieve in each cycle and whoever happens to be an opponent in that space, we focus on that in the space of making sure that we achieve our desired target and we’ve got the number of points that we are looking for and Pirates is that team that must give us the points that can help us to achieve our ultimate target.”

Coach Manqoba added: “The boys have worked very hard, they are giving it their best shot, their attitude in training has been exceptionally good because at Sundowns you are expected to counter press, to break the press and also to high press and all these are very demanding actions in the game but our boys have adapted to this. It’s something that we emphasize on a daily basis, that the intensity must always be kept at the right level and from what we are seeing we are all encouraged, we are happy with the progress that we see.”

The DStv Premiership Champions overcame Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs recently and may well be pressured to deliver a similar performance against The Sea Robbers. Coach Manqoba believes that his players are well prepared to deliver a good result on Saturday.

“A game like Pirates will always have elements of pressure, elements of intrinsic motivation and that type of motivation is most likely to bring an element of anxiety in it. We always have to control that space and fortunately a number of players that we are using are players that are used to the pressure of playing for a team like Sundowns.”

“The fact that we are playing against Mandla [Ncikazi] and Fadlu [Davids], those are very creative and intelligent coaches. We know that they bring a thing or two into the game, but we will profile them accordingly and see what we can get. The good thing is that we know almost all their players, if we fail to deal with their strategy then we can easily profile their individual players and understand what to expect in each and every player that they have.”

Downs’ coach confidently concluded that his team is well capable of achieving the goals that have been set: “We are confident in the team that we have, from the analysis department to the coaches that we have and everybody else who is supporting the team behind, we will pull out all stops to get the results that we require.”

Mamelodi Sundowns play against Orlando Pirates on Saturday, 25 September at the Orlando Stadium, kick-off is at 15h00.The game will be broadcast live on SuperSport channel 202 as well as SABC 1.