Sundowns coach Mngqithi says there is no room to train due to punishing schedule

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says there is no time to train because matches are coming thick and fast.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says there is no time to train because matches are coming thick and fast.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Faced with a punishing DStv Premiership schedule of five matches in 14 days before the Christmas break, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says there is no room for training.

In their remaining matches for the year the Brazilians have Stellenbosch, Royal AM, SuperSport United, Baroka and Orlando Pirates to contend with when they will be looking to maintain their place at the top of the standings.

“Training is now going to be more on matches and video analysis,” Mngqithi said as Sundowns prepared for the trip to take on Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday night.

“We will not have as much time to spend on the training field because on match day minus one we will be working more on what the opponents are doing on attack and defence and trying to see if our schemes can be able to deal with those situations.

“The truth of the matter is that any coach at this stage of the season who thinks he has enough time to train the team might find himself having a lot of problems because games are coming thick and fast. In this situation, matches are the ones that are the best training.”

Sundowns’ last match was on Saturday when they beat Sekhukhune United 2-0 at Tuks Stadium and Mngqithi said they gave players some time off after that game to recover.

“One must just look at our programme very closely and understand the challenges that we are facing. Even this game that we were supposed to play midweek, it was opened intentionally just to try to give ourselves a chance to have at least one week where there is no game in-between and refresh the team.

“A number of games that are coming after this full week are going to be hard for all of us, so we took a decision to give the players two days off for recovery immediately after the game on Saturday.

“We wanted them to refresh and make sure that everybody comes back fresh knowing that during the festive season they will be here and stuck with us up until the 23rd.

“That is basically what we have to do to make sure that we have a team that is fresher for the last marathon. Normally on a restart we always concentrate on our defensive principles, that’s what we did to make sure that we were ready for the matches ahead.

“Games that are coming are not giving us a chance to prepare at all because after Stellenbosch you have one day of travelling and a day after that you are already on match day minus one for the next game.”


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