Co-coach says new players still adapting to the club's culture

TTM draw deflating but Mngqithi is upbeat

Neville Khoza Journalist
Manqoba Mngqithi.
Manqoba Mngqithi.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Despite playing to a disappointing draw against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) on Wednesday, there are things Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi is happy about at the club.

The Brazilians had to settle for a goalless draw against TTM at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, a team they were expected to beat following their 3-0 demolition of Kaizer Chiefs last weekend.

Mngqithi admitted after the match that they were disappointed with the draw, but he was encouraged by the progress his players have made as they continue to implement their philosophy.

“Not getting the maximum points is always disappointing for a team like Sundowns,” Mngqithi told the media after the game.

“And we believe we did enough to be able to get something out of the game. But also, you must not take away the guts [TTM showed]. They worked very hard defensively to make sure we didn't win.

“But we are encouraged by some of the things we are doing already. There are changes that we are trying to bring in the team from the build-up specific in the midfield and also our creative side in the number 10 position.

“To be honest, there are a lot of positives from what we want, but unfortunately, you will want in the process to get maximum points. The unfortunate part is when you don’t get maximum points, you start feeling negative, but we are confident that we will be able to come up with something.”

With Sundowns not in action this weekend until Wednesday when they visit Cape Town City, Mngqithi said they would use the time to help players who are still trying to adjust to the club.

“We still have issues of adaptation for some of the players. We are trying to integrate everybody into the team. So this [break] gives us a little bit more time to work without the pressure of preparing for a game but work on the aspect of the game that is important for the team to play the way we want.”

One of the players the 49-year-old said needs time to adjust at the club is Lesedi Kapinga, who joined them from Black Leopards.

Kapinga is yet to make an appearance for Sundowns since joining them recently, and Mngqithi explained why he has not played.

“He is a good player offensively, but he still has a lot of work to do defensively,” Mgqithi said.

“At Sundowns, unfortunately, we expect everybody to help the team when we don’t have the ball. We work very hard to try and regain possession of the ball."

Meanwhile, Sundowns yesterday announced the signing of defender Brian Mandela Onyango on a three-year deal with a two-year option to extend. The Kenyan international previously played for Maritzburg United.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.