Mamelodi Sundowns take on Swallows FC at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday evening as they look to continue their excellent record in the DStv Premiership.
The two last met in October, 2021, in Pretoria as the reigning champions continued their remarkable run in domestic league competition and went on to win the game 3 – 0. Masandawana have been clinical so far in their 2021/22 CAF Champions League as well as the Nedbank Cup and head into this game having won 3 – 0 in their final Group A of the Champions League encounter. The Brazilians’ Co-Coach, Manqoba Mngqithi reflected on the team’s return to domestic league competition and outlined the challenges that his opponents pose ahead of Wednesday night’s fixture:
“It’s always a challenge for every coach when you compete in these different platforms, especially in the Champions League and DStv Premiership. We are playing an opposition that is very awkward, with a lot of very dynamic players [such as]: Khethukuthula Ndlovu on the right presents a big challenge with his speed and dribbling. They have also started to use [Dillon] Solomons at the back, [Mwape] Musonda is known for his ability to finish and there is also [Ruzaigh] Gamaldien up top who always poses a lot of problems.”
“We know the challenges that they might bring to the team, but we have to understand that we have a bigger responsibility to make sure that we achieve our targets as a team, and as it is now we have a bigger responsibility to win the next two matches of this cycle because we haven’t really done so well in this cycle.”
Swallows have had a difficult start to the year 2022, the last few months have been some spells for them which include being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup competition recently. The Dube Birds sit at the opposite end of the log standing, with 22 games played and 18 points collected, Swallows currently occupy position number 14 in the Premier Soccer League. Bafana Ba Style were dominant in their last meeting with the Soweto troops, however, Coach Manqoba is familiar with the opponents style of play.
“Every team that plays against Sundowns they bring their A game, they are intrinsically motivated to give their best for many many reasons, and ours is to always make sure that we give every match that we are playing the respect that it requires. We work very hard in making sure that we do not give them time to think and maybe exploit some of our areas of weakness, and the intensity of our game is always expected to be very high because of our game model.”
“Psychologically we have to [make the players] stay more focused, respect the protocols of recovery and regeneration, what they put in their system has become very important [and also] what they do after the match, because a lot of rest is also very important in this space. There’s not much to train to be honest, we have a bigger responsibility to make sure that everything is organized accordingly, to make sure that the players are fresh and we always try to freshen the team by bringing in new faces from time to time.” The truth of the matter is that we have no choice but to go to this match with a mentality to win it and that requires that the bodies that we bring into the field must be in a good state.”
Mamelodi Sundowns do battle with Swallows FC in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday at the Dobsonville Stadium. Kick off is at 19H30, live on SuperSport.