Ambitious Sundowns aiming to keep standards high

Brazilians in a league of their own as they remain undefeated this season

Neville Khoza Journalist
Thabo Matlaba of Swallows tackled by Andile Jali of Mamelodi Sundowns during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, on 03 October 2021.
Thabo Matlaba of Swallows tackled by Andile Jali of Mamelodi Sundowns during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, on 03 October 2021.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The standards Mamelodi Sundowns have set in the DStv Premiership this season have put them under pressure to maintain them.

This is according to co-coach Rulani Mokwena as the Brazilians seem to be in a league of their own as they remain undefeated this season.

They are also yet to concede a goal in the league, winning five of their six matches.

And following their comfortable 3-0 win over Swallows in the league match on Sunday, Mokwena said their responsibility now was to continue with the process.

“Well, the challenge we have now is to make sure we continue with the process. There are absolutely no shortcuts towards where we want to go. We are extremely ambitious as a club,” Mokwena told the media after the game.

“We have very high expectations and goals that have been set for us, but at the same time, we work extremely hard with the perception that we are entitled to win.

“We saw even during the match the mentality was correct, particularly in the second half where we were extremely intensive. We worked extremely hard in and out of the possession.

“We created a lot of situations by being tenacious and extremely committed to the course,  and this is what we will continue to do in the Champions League, or not. We want to win every day and this is the mentality we go with.”

Perhaps what has been different between Sundowns and the rest is that their new signings have settled in well, while in other teams they seem to be taking their time.

Players like Neo Maema, Thabiso Kutumela and Pavol Safranko have impressed, and have  contributed well to  the Brazilians.

“It’s kudos to the entire group for the new players to integrate well because of the environment that has been created by the players that we have,” he said. “They welcomed them with warm hands to make sure that they are well integrated into the group as quickly as possible and be able to give their best for the team. We are in a privileged position and that comes with pressure.”

Meanwhile, Swallows caretaker coach Simo Dladla admitted that they were concerned that they were not winning games. Swallows have only won once this season and are currently in a run of poor results.

“It is a concern to lose so many points and so many games. It does not take away points but confidence as well,” Dladla said.

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