Sundowns take huge win in their stride

DESPITE their 5-1 annihilation of Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership match at the weekend, the message from Mamelodi Sundowns is that there's still more work to be done at the club.

DESPITE their 5-1 annihilation of Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership match at the weekend, the message from Mamelodi Sundowns is that there's still more work to be done at the club.

The team that overwhelmed United in KwaZulu-Natal was a very different Sundowns side to the one that had observers scratching their heads in bewilderment as the club failed to win matches they should have bagged easily.

Despite this, Downs' team manager Michael Manzini is quite clear that "one swallow does not make a summer".

"The win was obviously very welcome but we know we still have to go and work hard.

"As they say, it is much harder to stay on top of your game," Manzini told Sowetan yesterday.

Manzini should know.

He spent his entire professional career at the Brazilians as an efficient centre-back, picking up five league medals along the way.

He hung up his boots at the end of last season and assumed his current role.

"What we did on Friday, we prefer to see as a message that we plan to compete, to play well and to win our matches convincingly," he said.

Sundowns are ninth in the in the standings on 12 points, seven points adrift of leaders Orlando Pirates.

Their win over United was their third this season.

Downs have had to overcome some rocky patches, with last month's 4-2 loss to Bidvest Witsresulting in some of their die-hard supporters calling for coach Hristo Stoichkov to be sacked.

That is all water under the bridge now and according to Manzini, the win was the result of the kind of football they are playing finally bearing fruit.

"This is a sign of good things to come. The boys have worked really hard as a team and we have the kind of environment where you need the next person to succeed," he said.

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