can Ngwenya shake image?

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Trott Moloto had an interesting way of ensuring that his players were sharp at training on Wednesday, as they prepared to host AmaZulu at Super Stadium tomorrow at 8pm.

The punishment for losing a practice match was a 2km run around the grounds for players - this after a full three-hour training session.

Judging by the stormy expressions and muttered curses from members of the losing crowd Jorge Acuna, Dillon Sheppard, Robyn Johannes and Lungisani Ndlela, one wonders what happens when the Brazilians lose a game for real.

The exercise also put paid to the belief that they are a bunch of spoiled prima donnas.

Manqoba Ngwenya and Fanyana Dhladhla were on target at training. Incidentally, they were also on target last weekend when Downs beat AmaZulu in the Kings Cup final.

One of the perks of coaching one of the Big Three is that winning is non-negotiable, and should Moloto dare lose a match without the regulars, there will be some loud baying for blood.

The coach has confirmed that he will stick very closely to the team that defeated Bloemfontein Celtic away two weeks ago.

Ngwenya has not had many chances to showcase what he can do since joining Downs, and this could be the season in which he plays more than a bit part in the first team.

Said Moloto: "I will start with the strongest possible team and will probably revert to the team that got us the three points [against Celtic]. It's early days still, but I can tell you the challenge for the league championship has started for us."

Benedict Vilakazi is a doubtful starter and Katlego Mphela is still out with a thigh injury.

Clive Barker's striking department was dealt a blow with the potent Dumisani Ngwenya fracturing his toe.

But AmaZulu public relations officer Philani Mabaso said: "It only opens the door for someone like Sean Dundee and Siyabonga Mkhwanazi to shine."