Former coach Zondo warns on danger of trying to outdo predecessor

Can Mngqithi break Downs' MTN8 hoodoo?

Neville Khoza Journalist
Manqoba Mngqithi.
Manqoba Mngqithi.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

With the MTN8 set to start this week, is Manqoba Mngqithi the coach to end Mamelodi Sundowns woes in this competition?

The Brazilians have amassed everything on the domestic front and continental in the past eight years, but the MTN8 title has eluded them.

Mngqithi was recently confirmed as co-coach together with Rulani Mokwena, replacing Pitso Mosimane, who has since joined Al Ahly.

He won his first piece of silverware as a head coach by lifting the MTN8 in 2009.

But can he produce the same magic that saw him propelling Golden Arrows to glory? Former Sundowns coach Khabo Zondo said he would hate to see Mngqithi putting himself under pressure by trying to emulate the previous coach's achievement.

“How do you prepare for such times, you may find yourself having done well with this trophy, but when it comes to another club, you are not able to get the same results.

“I believe that he's got the capacity and the potential. It doesn’t mean if he wins the MTN8, then he is better than anyone at Sundowns.

"A club like Sundowns that has done well for so many years under Mosimane, you have this kind of pressure of wanting to emulate or do the same.

“You also don’t want to see yourself having done very little or less than what the other coach has done. I would hate to see him being under pressure of wanting to do things that Pitso was not able to achieve.”

Sundowns start their search for their first MTN8 title against Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday (6pm).

And having gone on a major signing spree to bring in 13 players, Zondo hopes the new players will adapt quickly.

“These are the best players in the country, and I hope they will be integrated well at the club with the short time the coaches had,” Zondo said.

“They need to understand each other quickly, so there is no pressure on the coaches during the season.

“The danger is the expectation of having the so-called best material and being not able to put it together. I think they are spoilt for choice.”

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