But Mngqithi confident the team can cope with gruelling schedule

More obstacles for Sundowns after troubled week

Neville Khoza Journalist
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns (c) celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and TS Galaxy at Loftus Versfeld on December 15, 2020 in Pretoria.
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns (c) celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and TS Galaxy at Loftus Versfeld on December 15, 2020 in Pretoria.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackPagePix/Gallo Images

With all the challenges they are facing and a dark cloud still hanging over Chloorkop, Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi remains confident that they will come out strong as they have the experience to face any difficulties.

The Brazilians played their game against TS Galaxy on Tuesday after their request to postpone that match because of Motjeka Madisha's death was declined by the Premier Soccer League. They went on to win 2-0.

On Saturday they travel to Durban to face Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (3.30pm), with both teams looking to continue with their unbeaten run so far.

After that they have a trip to Botswana for their CAF Champions League first round fixture against Jwaneng Galaxy on Tuesday.

“Our schedule is a very difficult one, considering that we are playing on Saturday [tomorrow] and we planned to fly back the same day so that we have Sunday here for active regeneration or tactical regeneration, if possible,” Mngqithi told the club's media department.

“Now we received news that the flight we have booked for 9pm has been cancelled because of the curfew. Now we are trying to get an 8pm flight. 

“On Monday we have to go to Botswana because of the circumstances of the 48-hour [Covid-19] tests, so that also puts a spanner in the works.

“But the team is used to these challenges. We fully understand our space and we are more than optimistic that we will come out strong with all these challenges.”

Mngqithi said they have done their homework on Arrows and will have a plan to stop them.

“We did a lot of extensive work on Arrows to look at the structure of their team and we are fully aware of their strength,” Mngqithi said.

“Their ability is diagonal balls, long balls behind the defence to look to counter from those situations and to exploit the spaces that may be open behind. But I think we got it in our plans. We understand their strengths and limitations.

“We have to try to mitigate the strength of a counterattack. From time to time they can press you from the top. Arrows have the right physical attributes to do that from the top.

“We believe we are ready to compete and give it our best. It is not going to be an easy game but we have prepared.”

Fixtures

Tonight: Maritzburg v Stellenbosch, Harry Gwala, 7pm;

Tomorrow: Arrows v Sundowns, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, 3.30pm;  Baroka v SuperSport, Peter Mokaba Stadium, 3.30pm; Chiefs v Celtic, FNB Stadium, 6pm; Cape Town City v TS Galaxy, Cape Town Stadium, 6pm.

Sunday: Leopards v Swallows, Thohoyandou Stadium, 3.30pm; AmaZulu v Chippa, Kings Park, 3.30pm.

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