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Manqoba Mngqithi not bothered by comparison to the club's revered coach Pitso Mosimane

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the team is growing in strength with each passing game.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the team is growing in strength with each passing game.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Recently crowned Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says he was never bothered by the doubting Thomases who questioned his appointment when he took over from revered Pitso Mosimane.

Mngqithi assumed the seat with Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela at the start of the just concluded season‚ and the trio faced furious condemnation that at times bordered on insults.

When Mosimane‚ who won five league titles at Chloorkop‚ left Sundowns before the start of the season‚ Mngqithi, Mokwena and Komphela took over in an unusual co-coaching arrangement.

Most people did not give them a chance of succeeding and the trio are having the last laugh at the doubters.

They got off to a disappointing start with a 1-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic in the opening round of the MTN8 and the result led to ridicule by rivals fans .

They were called “Shadrach‚ Meshach and Abednego” to biblical figures from the book of Daniel.

The trio overcame that poor start to win the league title with three matches to spare‚ also reach the semi-final stage of the Nedbank Cup where they lost 6-5 on penalties to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).

They also reached the quarterfinal stage of the Caf Champions League where they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Mosimane’s Al Ahly.

“I regard myself as somebody who is not a failure and as to what other people think at times ‚ it is always neither here nor there‚” said Mngqithi.

“The unfortunate part of our society is that the people who criticise you are the people who should be lifting you up.

"I believe that when we were given the opportunity to coach this team‚ it was at the back of the president (Patrice Motsepe) knowing our capacity and we had to deliver on that.

“As a football coach‚ I am one in South Africa that has coached at almost every level.

"From the local domestic league I have won the league‚ SAB league I have won the league‚ ABC Motsepe League I have won the league.

“The only league that I have not seen was the GladAfrica Championship because I only spent one season as a coach there.

"I was an assistant the first season and the following season Moja United and Royal Tigers but I know my story as a coach‚ as a school coach and coaching at all the levels.

“At Golden Arrows I brought the first trophy after they had never won a trophy before but this is something that I don’t want to dwell much on.

"We had to use our leadership qualities to make sure that it does not crumble on our hands.

"We were fortunate that we were able to hold it from the beginning and it never showed any signs of being shaky and probably it is getting stronger and stronger every day.”