Mngqithi: Sundowns' coaches may use two teams in 2020-21

Manqoba Mngqithi, assistant coach of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2019 Telkom Knockout Mamelodi Sundowns media day at Chloorkop, Johannesburg, on 20 November 2019.
Manqoba Mngqithi, assistant coach of Mamelodi Sundowns during the 2019 Telkom Knockout Mamelodi Sundowns media day at Chloorkop, Johannesburg, on 20 November 2019.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has hinted that they may use two teams this season to be able to cope with the demands of juggling continental and domestic commitments.

Downs‚ having lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic in the MTN8 quarterfinals on Sunday‚ open the defence of their back-to-back DStv Premiership titles when they meet Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Sundowns will be taking part in the Caf Champions League on the continent while domestically they will be looking to defend their league and Nedbank Cup trophies they won last season.

As part of last season’s treble success‚ they also won the Telkom Knockout but they won’t be able to defend it as it has been discontinued for 2020-21.

“It is important to have your starting eleven‚ to know that these are the players that you believe will be the first team. But with the quality that we have‚ we also have to be considerate that maybe if we can have two very balanced squads we are putting ourselves in a better space when we have a lot of travelling and games in the Champions League and domestically‚” Mngqithi said.

He sais Sundowns picked the best available team in the loss to Celtic.

“The truth of the matter is that the group that played was the group that was available. If you saw the list of players that could not play and would predominantly be in the starting eleven‚ it was a little bit long and unfortunately we could not use them for medical and other reasons‚” the coach said.

“But we were happy with the group that we had‚ we were somehow forced into the position because of circumstances but every coach would want to have one team that is 100 percent sure. We always want to try and tweak here and there whenever there is a need‚ and as coaches we are working very hard to try and make sure that it happens.

“One would be naïve to say that we lost that match because we did not have a good squad. The team that we put on the pitch was good enough to be able to win the match‚ and with the chances that we got we could have easily buried the match.

“But unfortunately we lost it and to say it may be the squad that we had was not the squad that one would have preferred would be very unfair to the group because there were a lot of positives form the team that played.”

Mngqithi is one of a trio of coaches at the helm of Sundowns in 2020-21 along with Steve Komphela and Rulani Mokwena‚ following the departure this month of Pitso Mosimane to join Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

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