Sundowns coach Mngqithi on TTM: ‘I’m scared of them if they come at us’

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi. File photo
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi. File photo
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has advised his Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) counterparts not to bring defensive tactics to their Nedbank Cup semifinal clash at Loftus on Sunday.

Highly unpredictable TTM come up against the rampaging Sundowns, who humiliated rivals Orlando Pirates 4-1 in the quarterfinal on Thursday, with a place in the final on offer.

“If they decide to sit back, I think they will make the game very easy for us,” said Mngqithi.

“We played against them [before] and they started that habit of going backwards and that gave us a chance to punish them.

“If I was them I would take the game to Sundowns because they have nothing to lose and I think their coaches are aware that when you play Sundowns you better give it your best shot.

“The best advice I can give to any team at this stage is why sit back? Even Pirates tried to sit by playing five at the back in the second half and they conceded a lot of goals when they played with five at the back.”

Though defending champions Sundowns are overwhelming favourites to book a place in the final, Mngqithi cautioned TTM are a tricky team to meet.

“The only thing I can tell you is that TTM is one of the awkward teams in the league because they have some very interesting players. It is unfortunate that they are a new team in the league and nobody gave them respect, and they also had a lot happening within their team,” Downs’ coach said.

“But in terms of playing personnel, we know that they have some very dangerous players and we know for a fact that if they can come and turn it we will have a lot of problems.

“It is up to them what they decide to do on the day but if I was them I would say, ‘I have nothing to lose, so let me go out toe-to-toe with Sundowns, and maybe there is something that I can get out’.

“When you are sitting back, you concede goals without playing and that doesn’t help the image of the club. I am sure their coaches are smart enough to come out and it is a cup game.

“They have nothing to lose, but it is not going to be an easy game and I am scared of them if they come at us, to be honest.”