Maema's all-round quality impresses Mngqithi

He creates, he passes, he scores, says Downs coach

Neville Khoza Journalist
Neo Maema of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Neo Maema of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: Philip Maeta/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has hailed Neo Maema following his Man-of-the-Match performance during their 4-0 victory over Marumo Gallants at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

The impressive Maema was at the heart of things for Sundowns as he created two assists and could have had a goal for himself if his efforts didn’t hit the woodwork in the first half.

The Man-of-the-Match award was his second with Sundowns since he joined them from Bloemfontein Celtic at the beginning of the season.

“Neo Maema, we know what he is capable of,” Mngqithi said after the match. “But what is more encouraging for us is when a young player like Neo presents himself as a player that has got a goal and a player that has assists and that improves his scoring goals and his assists.

“And that’s what we want with players that are offensive because it’s easy in SA to have an offensive player that does not take many shots at goal. That does not have an assist, that can't put in a cross but is highly-respected.

"So, Neo is a player with a goal, with a cross, that dribbles, with a clinical pass and those are very important qualities.”

Mngqithi was also full of praise for striker Pavol Safranko, who was also impressive against Gallants.

Safankro netted his second goal for the club in the league against Gallants and the 50-year-old coach feels they will start getting more goals from him once he is fully fit.

“As for Safranko, we believe he has goals in him. He is still going to help us. He is gaining confidence. In the first half he created a good moment for Maema and that could have been easily a very good assist,” he said.

“He took two defenders out and he was able to charge in and put that cut-back, but unfortunately, Neo could not take that one. It hit the upright. “We are very happy with the progress that he is making in the team and for a player like him, it is not only about scoring.

“It is about the work ethic that he is putting in to make sure that he helps us in our defence strategies and scheme. He is very important in that space. We know in set-pieces he is a big factor – both offensive and defensively.

“In no time, we are going to reap rewards as he is starting to get his fitness back.”

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