Coach wary of creating dependencies on individuals as Downs beat Bucs

Mngqithi urges Sirino to fight for spot in team

Neville Khoza Journalist
FILE IMAGE: Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and USM Alger at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Pretoria, South Africa.
FILE IMAGE: Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and USM Alger at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has warned want-away midfielder Gaston Sirino that he will have to fight to regain his place in the starting line-up.

Sirino has been angling for a move to Al Ahly, a team that has shown interest in his services.

But after Sundowns revealed last month that the transfer talks between them and the Egyptian giants have collapsed, this meant Sirino has no choice but to put his failed move behind him and avail him for selection.

“At a certain point mentally, he was all over, but now he is back in training,” Mngqithi told the media after their 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at Loftus Stadium on Saturday.

“He is showing signs that he needs to fight for his place in the team, and he can see the team is moving forward without him. It is easy at Sundowns to be forgotten, so he is giving his best at training and he is working very hard.”

Mngqithi added that the 29-year-old, who has played once this season, could feature in the next matches depending on his fitness.

“We are hoping to see him soon. It is unfortunate for some medical reasons he could not play this one [against Pirates], but we are hoping that in the next few matches he would have fought his fitness back and be able to fight for his place in the team,” Mngqithi said.

“It is not going to be a walk in the park. The boys that are playing are giving their best, but we know what he is capable of and what he adds to our depth, which is very important at a team like Sundowns.”

The coach was pleased to see his side record a victory against Pirates without star players Themba Zwane and Sirino on Saturday. Zwane has scored seven goals in seven matches but was not available against the Buccaneers.

“It was important for us to win this game without Zwane because we have won many games without Sirino.

But winning a game without Zwane is something maybe the players would not have thought is possible because it is good for the team not to depend on individuals, though we know the value is attached to Zwane and Sirino when they play it is very encouraging. But we are trying to build a team that does not have dependents on individuals.

“It was good to win a big match because when we won against Kaizer Chiefs without Gaston, everybody was surprised, and now we won against Pirates without Gaston and Themba, that is very positive and we know what is important for us.”

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.

X