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Mngqithi to Sundowns players: Forget Caf shock and wrap up the league

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Mamelodi Sundowns Manqoba Mngqithi says they must forget about Champions League elimination and focus on the match against Cape Town City.
Mamelodi Sundowns Manqoba Mngqithi says they must forget about Champions League elimination and focus on the match against Cape Town City.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mgqithi has called on his players to put the disappointment of their shock Caf Champions League elimination at the hands of Petro Atletico behind them and focus on wrapping up the DStv Premiership title.

The Brazilians need a point from their league match against Cape Town City at Loftus on Wednesday night (7.30pm) to reach an unprecedented fifth championship in succession.

Sundowns can still win the treble this season if they add the Premiership title and the Nedbank Cup, where they contest their semifinal against Royal AM on Saturday, to the MTN8 cup they won early in the season.

Conceding the devastation Sundowns felt losing in the Champions League quarterfinals for the third time in a row, Mngqithi reminded his players of the club's 24-hour recovery rule.

“We have a 24-hour rule that has been entrenched in the minds of the players. Setback or happiness, we may have won or lost an important match, we still have to focus on the next one,” he said.

“We give that excitement and celebrations and also we give unhappiness and disappointment within the 24 hours and after that we pick ourselves up and focus on the next assignment.”

Mngqithi said he is confident the players will rise to the occasion against third-placed City, who have ambitions of finishing second.

“We know we are competing in all these competitions to see how far we can go in all of them. I am very confident that after 24 hours the players will come back very angry and willing to go all out in the next competitions.

“If it does not happen, we will not say it was through lack of trying — we will give it our best shot. We have a very good leadership in the team from the president, the chairman, management and the coaches who I work with.

“I am confident we are one good team to be able to bring the team back quickly and be able to focus on the next assignment. In football, if you are going to be crying over things like this, you might miss the next opportunity.

“We have a big match on Wednesday where we have to play and win the league and that can help us come back stronger and understand who we are.

“We still have the Nedbank Cup in front of us, so we cannot afford to dwell too much on what we cannot change. We have to fight on, we have that responsibility to still dip deep until we achieve what we want. As a big team we want to win.”

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