Sundowns coach Mngqithi: ‘Before long people will know what George Maluleka is capable of’

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Manqoba Mngqithi is a hard man to please.
Manqoba Mngqithi is a hard man to please.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has said that a lot of people don’t give former Bafana Bafana midfielder George Maluleka the respect that he deserves and they will know what he is capable of this season.

Maluleka made his DStv Premiership debut for the Brazilians as a late substitute against former club Kaizer Chiefs on the weekend where he won a penalty that led to the third goal in the comfortable 3-0 win for Sundowns at FNB Stadium.

“I was very impressed to see him going as far as getting a penalty in the box‚” said Mngqithi‚ who co-coaches with Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela at Chloorkop where they have taken over from former coach Pitso Mosimane.

“For me‚ to see him getting into the box was very encouraging because I have been telling him that more than anything else his game is short of those incisive moments of shots at goals‚ scoring goals and all that.

“When I saw that very good entry into the box‚ I was encouraged because I know what the boy is capable of and I don’t think that a lot of people give him the respect that he deserves.

“I want to believe that before long‚ people will be in a better position to know what George is capable of.”

The soft-spoken Mngqithi also took time to strongly condemn those who were last week spreading rumours that Maluleka was not part of the plans for Downs’ technical team trio.

“Maybe let me clarify this rumour because it was just unfounded or maybe it’s people who are trying to kill somebody else’s career. I was very straightforward even after the previous match that he is in our plans and we know what he is capable of‚” Mngqithi said.

“Even when he came in against Chiefs last weekend‚ we knew what we expected from him. We wanted him to drive in a little bit and assist us in keeping possession but you also know that he’s got a very good pass to try and find the spaces behind the defence.

“We could see at that time that both Daniel Cardoso and Ramahlwe Mphahlele were climbing higher up. At a certain point they played with almost a three in defence and they pushed both Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat up-top.

“We wanted somebody who can easily deliver the same pass that Hlompho Kekana can deliver in that space. We wanted to see if we can’t get anything on a counterattack.”

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