Mngqithi expects festival of attacking football against Malesela's Marumo Gallants

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Manqoba Mngqithi (Gallo Images)
Manqoba Mngqithi (Gallo Images)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi said attacking football will be on the menu for Saturday's Nedbank Cup final.
  • Sundowns will be looking for their sixth title when they play Marumo Gallants in Rustenburg.
  • Sundowns also have flu cases going around in their camp, but fielded a team against Royal AM on Monday.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi said their Nedbank Cup final clash against Marumo Gallants on Saturday will be characterised by attacking football.

Mngqithi said Gallants coach Dan Malesela believes in attacking football, which will help open up the game.

Sundowns and Gallants met twice with a 1-1 draw and a 4-0 win for the league champions. Mngqithi has coached against Malesela, with the Sundowns mentor adding they'll need to be clinical in front of goal.

Sundowns were profligate in last year's Nedbank Cup semi-final against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and ended up losing on penalties.

"The good thing about games between Sundowns and teams coached by Malesela is that those teams are both ultra-offensive," Mngqithi said.

"They won't sit back and absorb pressure. They'll go all out, which will make it an interesting game for spectators.

"Last year, we lost a game we shouldn't have because if the goalkeeper becomes the man-of-the-match, it summed up the game.

"When you don't take your chances, you get punished. We've seen teams exit competitions because of not taking their chances, despite playing better."

Sundowns, who also won the MTN8 earlier this year, are regarded as favourites, a tag that worries Mngqithi because of the anxiety it causes players.

"These are some of the matches I don't like, especially where you're expected to win, they become very difficult," Mngqithi said.

"One, there's the responsibility as the coach to motivate the players and make them understand the game is as important as any other big team.

"You don't know what happens in the mind of a player when they're not motivated, you start to be anxious and anxiety is the biggest enemy of precision.

"Then you face an opponent who is ready for the game mentally and have a long, hard slog because bringing yourself back into that space is hard.

"I want to believe we have a culture of wanting to win every match that we play, regardless of magnitude and stature."

Sundowns had a number of players down with flu ahead of their last league game against Royal AM, but Mngqithi said a medical report will reveal how many players will be available for the final.

"Already in the match against Royal AM, the guys were already showing signs of recovery," Mngqithi said.

"Yesterday, I met a few who were coming in for the shoot and one or two of them weren't looking very good.

"One hopes there we'll get to understand what we have available for the weekend once we see the doctor's report."

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