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Mngqithi not taking low-flying swallows lightly

Birds’ league position not important to Downs man

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi believes Swallows’ dire league form will count for nothing when the two sides battle it out at Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday (7.30pm).

Swallows are staring relegation in the face, having won just two of their past 10 games with four defeats and four draws. Mngqithi is, however, not reading too much into the Birds’ mediocre record this season, insisting every team they face comes at them hard, hence they can’t afford to let Swallows’ league position fool them into thinking they’ll be pushovers on Wednesday night.

“For us, that [Swallows’ league position] is never important because every team that plays against Sundowns brings their A game. They are intrinsically motivated to give their best for many reasons. So, ours is to always make sure we give every match we’re playing the respect [it deserves],” said Mngqithi.

“We want to make sure that we don’t give them time to think and maybe explore some of our areas of weakness. The intensity of our games is always expected to be very high because of our game model, so based on that, we are then forced to look into the match itself and forget about the position of the opposition.”

Mngqithi also identified a few Swallows players he feels can be a threat. Speedy right-winger Khethukuthula Ndlovu and strikers Mwape Musonda and Ruzaigh Gamildien made the list of players the Sundowns coach fears. Mngqithi also detailed why a win tonight and against Golden Arrows at home next week Tuesday is important.

“We’re playing an opposition that is very awkward with a lot of very dynamic players. Ndlovu on the right presents a big challenge with his speed and dribbling.

“They have also now started using [Dillon] Solomons as a full-back. Musonda is known for his ability to finish and they also have Gamildien up top, who always posses a lot of problems,” Mngqithi explained.

“We know the challenges they might bring to us but we have to understand that we have a big responsibility to make sure we achieve our target as a team. As it is now, we have a bigger responsibility to win the next two matches of this cycle because we haven’t really done very well in this cycle.”

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