Coach Manqoba Shares His Thoughts Following AmaZulu Defeat

Mamelodi Sundowns’ seventeen games unbeaten streak in the DStv Premiership comes to an end after a 1-0 loss against AmaZulu FC on Monday evening.

Masandawana suffered their first loss of the season since opening their campaign in August, the defending champions have without a doubt set new standards in the domestic league with their recent excellent performances. Downs co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi outlined the battle at the Jonsson Kings Park stadium against Usuthu in a media press conference.

“To be honest I don’t think today the team was at their sharpest point, we were a little bit lethargic in our play, we lost too many balls and too many balls were lost trying to play one touch which may suggest a little bit of anxiety in some instances. We never really put the foot down and took full dominance of the game, in as much as they were putting a low block and at times defending in the second phase, or in zone two. We never really imposed ourselves the way we normally do.”

“We played a more possessional type of football than penetrative type of football and we demanded that even at half time, but we unfortunately found ourselves in a situation where we were caught on transition and that’s one area which we normally emphasise and in most of the games that we play we always face the same challenge of teams breaking out in transition.”

The Brazilians are the only team in the Premier Soccer League to have lost only two games in the 2021 calendar year, their recent loss against Usuthu has left little, if not, no dent to their domination as they remain top of the log with forty three points and sixteen points ahead of second placed Orlando Pirates.

“One is very proud of the team, I think the boys have fought very hard, they’ve made life very difficult for many teams to punish us. We were also caught today, we were a little bit of lapse in concentration in terms of our rest defense but even if this game went all the way and it was a draw, we would not say it was a bad performance, but we would still feel a little bit unhappy that maybe because of the game that we played against Pirates took a lot from the team. We gave it our all and unfortunately today, which is a hindsight because it’s not something that you can see before the match as to how the team is going to show up in the game. I don’t think we were as fresh as we normally are, we were not as incisive as we would want to see, we lost far too many balls in wrong areas and exposed ourselves to counter attacks.”

Bafana Ba Style were forced to make a substitution within twenty-minutes of the opening half after their midfielder Rivaldo Coetzee succumbed to what seemed like a hamstring injury. Coach Manqoba suspects that these are the signs of the team’s recent successive performances that have given them little time to recuperate.

“The injury of Riva is also a testimony to probably the load that we’ve had over the past few weeks because we’ve never really had a break and we’ve been having matches back-to-back, high intensity matches [and we are] expected to get a result. One game in mind is the game of Baroka FC, we may be looking at the Pirates game because it was a big match with a lot at stake, but the game against Baroka for me is the one that took a lot from the team considering that the team played the whole second half with one man out after Kermit’s [Erasmus] red card. We were still expected to play the Pirates game immediately thereafter which we had to make sure we go through because that was a six pointer.” said coach Manqoba.

The Tshwane giants set a new DStv Premiership record of 13 clean sheets in a row, they have collected more man of the match trophies this season more than any other club and the coaching department have also received recognition twice in a row for thor team’s grand display in the new season. Masandawana are one of the teams that will finish their first round of the season having played a massive nineteen games before heading into the Christmas break.

Coach Manqoba said that he is happy with the amount of games that his team has played as this will pave the way for the club to prepare for the other competitions that await in the new year:

“At this stage it’s very difficult to be sure on what’s going to happen because everything is very tight, but one must never take away the work that the players have put forward, they’ve done very well from the beginning up until now and we still believe that they still have a fight within themselves. The truth of the matter is that inasmuch as this programme is a little bit heavy for us because we are playing far too many matches in a very short space of time, on the other side we are appreciative of the fact that by the time we start in February we would have played maybe four matches or more than what we normally play in a normal season which takes a little bit of a load on the other side.”

“We know very well that the teams that we are competing with don’t have these other competitions which we are playing in, and maybe they will have a little bit of freshness and an edge to come at us, which is why it’s still very important for us to focus more on our processes and what we would like to achieve in each and every cycle that we are playing.”

Mamelodi Sundowns will be in action for the last time in 2021 in their DStv Premiership match 19 against Marumo Gallants FC on Thursday, 23 December, kick off is at 17h30. This game will be televised live on SuperSport Channel 202.

6 Responses
  1. muzi kunene

    Maybe if the gap is only two points maybe our fellow Dawanas will appreciate this is soccer but a gap of more fifteen points is unheard of and which league around the world is like that,but We are still unsatisfied, there’s no way we can surrender a massive gap like this,yesterday result was a wake up call Downs will bounce back and the good thing in January our players will be resting almost the whole and we know a resting Downs is very dangerous. I know to brag is a nice thing but we must leave a room for disappointment,maybe those whom are crying a lot are the ones who bet that we’ll win now they lost who knows,even Madrid was held to a goalless draw by a second bottom team(Cadiz)while they’re on top this is soccer it can humble you.

  2. Downs4ever

    Member it is indisputable that a team has done really well,our concern has always been there even when we’re winning.You can’t make 5 substitutions when a team is winning and make one when a team is loosing,dish out instructions when a team is winning and keep quiet when a team is loosing.Loan out youngsters and buy a 34 year old players after you realised players of his age, how many years is he going to sign?.You can’t sign a player and give him a year’s contract and you can’t give 34 year old 3 year contract,we are not retirement home.When you sign a player you think long term not for now.Another example,Onyango has been making lots of mistakes and given chance after chance like Romeo,why can’t you give young players chance to also make mistakes and grow up like you give already grown up players chances.We have one ambitious coach who wants us to play like Man City and one negative coach who opposes the other one and was even negative during MTN8 penalty shoot out.Players get tired and need to refreshed by resting them.And a player can’t tell a coach I’m tired and I need a rest because that would be called insubordination instead a wise coach should see that these players need a rest.

  3. Mzimela

    Bayadelela laba baxosha Kekana bafuna khehla mfana we C.p baxoshelweni Langerman Mabunda Kekena really disgraceful he look older than 34

  4. Jero

    Yellow Nation we learn from each other and we view things in different manner. Truly our team is doing well l am sure we all agreed this is the first time in the history of our Club we are experiencing this kind of achievement. The truth is everyone makes mistakes now and Than. There are 2. things that really disturb me about my club or Coaches 1. We do not believe in our development.
    2.Coaches they they do not treat players equally.
    I agree that they spend time with players every single day.
    But than we are the judges on the match day and we know most of the players from their previous club what they can offer, But Technical team does not give them opportunities. For example if Gift can be given 5 games in a row what will happen same as Maluleke, makume many more and they bought them because they knew that they are good players . But than is up to technical team to work on the weaknesses of those players but if do not improve sell them.

  5. sbedula

    Yellow masandawana I’m heart broken and I hate pointing fingers but yesterday mkhulise cost us, he miss a sitter and he was struggling even to trap the ball. on top of that our coaches takes time to replace him with maema but is a lesson.

  6. Dalom

    Not only this game coach, we’ve been pathetic in our last six or seven games bar the Pirates game, but somehow we’ve been winning. I started getting worried during our 4-0 drubbing of Marumo Gallants in Polokwane. Then after that we’ve been dropping and dropping in terms of the standards, more especially after De Reuck was injured and Lebusa/Kekana were paired together at the back. Our football has been unimpressive. We keep possession in our own half without actually hurting the opponents

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