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Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi not fazed by 'Downs unbeaten run

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Manqoba Mngqithi (Gallo Images)
Manqoba Mngqithi (Gallo Images)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi is expecting more from his charges despite their excellent unbeaten run.
  • Sundowns have not been beaten in 25 matches across all competitions since October 2020.
  • They have also booked their spot in the CAF Champions League quarter-finals.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi is not overawed by the club's impressive unbeaten streak.

Sundowns, who saw off TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo 1-0 at Loftus Versfeld in their CAF Champions League Group B game, are on a 25-match unbeaten streak.

They last lost a game on 18 October 2020 when they lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic at home while their last home Champions League defeat came in June 2017 when they were beaten by Esperance.

Mngqithi, who hardly breaks a smile, said Sundowns' unbeaten streak is a team effort and he also doesn’t like losing.

"As a coach, I'm more driven by winning matches. If you check my records in the lower leagues, when I won the ABC Motsepe League, I won the first 15 matches because I don't like to lose. Even with smaller teams like Golden Arrows and AmaZulu, I didn’t like losing. I don't remember my team losing 4-0," Mngqithi said.

"I'm working with top coaches who also need to be given credit. Steve Komphela is a top coach and provides a lot of leadership in the team. Coach Rhulani Mokwena is a top coach and he provides a lot of tactical and technical leadership. That kind of combination must always settle for something better because if you allow yourself to lose easily, that may have an impact from a psychological perspective."

The unbeaten streak has seen Sundowns streak away from teams in the Champions League and the domestic league.

With Al-Hilal and CR Belouizdad playing to a draw, Sundowns are a whopping nine points ahead while in the DSTV premiership, Sundowns (39) are four points ahead of second-placed Golden Arrows with two games in hand.

Points gaps like these often mess teams up, with complacency setting in. That’s not the case with Mngqithi.

He knows they need to collect as many points as they can while progressing past the quarter-finals, something Sundowns have only done once since their 2016 success.

"That's not something I'm focussing on. We’re focussing each game that comes and for Sundowns to qualify for the quarter-finals, that’s something that’s expected. You can't say we've done something big by getting to that stage. We’ve been doing that for all these years," Mngqithi said.

"If you were to look at some of our recent results, you'll see at how quickly we've been doing things in the Champions League to give ourselves a bit of a breather. Even in the league, it'll be nice to get to the last five games without wanting too many points. If you look at our May schedule, things are going to be tight for us."

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