Co-coach Mngqithi blames draw with Leopards on crowded timetable

Fatigue a worry for Sundowns

Neville Khoza Journalist
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Mamelodi Sundowns' Manqoba Mngqithi during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and TP Mazembe at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Mamelodi Sundowns' Manqoba Mngqithi during the CAF Champions League match between Mamelodi Sundowns and TP Mazembe at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi feels his players may have underestimated Black Leopards during their 1-1 draw at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday.

The draw saw Sundowns fail to extend their lead at the top after their title rivals, Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United, Golden Arrows and Swallows FC all dropped points at the weekend.

This left Mngqithi a bit frustrated after he had told his players about the danger of undermining teams that are fighting for survival.

“We had a lethargic performance, which got us worried from the beginning of the match,” Mngqithi told the media after the game.

“But fortunately we got a goal from Mosa [Lebusa], after that we got some good chances on breaks where I think we could have capitalised better. But unfortunately, because we did not take those chances even at halftime, we had a big fight in the change room that we seem to look like a team that won the match. 

“I must say we were very concerned and the intensity of the game was not like we are used to, probably the team has too many games, one must also accept that.

“Maybe we took it for granted that it was going to be an easy game and I have always been talking throughout the week that throughout the world it is very normal for a team that is bottom of the league to get points from a team that is top of the league. So it is important that we fight very hard not to become one of those stats.”

With Sundowns having been competing in all fronts - the league, CAF Champions League and the Nedbank Cup - the 49-year-old has welcomed the Fifa international week break as he feels his players need to rest.

“One feels that the team has played too far many matches in a short space of time. The level of sharpness from some of our key players was not on a level where one would have expected,” he said.

“It is always difficult to see that before the match is played. So maybe you would say maybe we should rest them.”

Meanwhile, Leopards coach Lehlohonolo Seema was pleased with a point and that the results will improve their confidence ahead of their remaining matches.

“It was a game where we came here to get something, whether it was three points or one that’s what we’ve prepared when we came here,” Seema said.

“We were never bothered by the saying that we need to play good football, we wanted to be compact, keep our shape, and the structure must be okay, and then we must wait for our opportunities.”

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