Sundowns coach Mngqithi signals warning to title challengers: 'We are back now!'

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Mamelodi Sundowns winger Lyle Lakay celebrating his goal against Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)
Mamelodi Sundowns winger Lyle Lakay celebrating his goal against Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says people were too quick to doubt his side after they bounced back resoundingly against Orlando Pirates at the weekend.

The Brazilians ended a four-match winless streak in the league with a dominant 3-0 victory over the Buccaneers at Orlando Stadium as Ricardo Nascimento, Peter Shalulile and Lyle Lakay did the damage.

Mngqithi's men are gunning for a fourth straight league title - something that has never been done before in the history of South African football - and the Masandawana mentor warned the footballing public not to count their chickens before they hatch.

"I just feel sometimes we are very unfair to make judgments without really looking very closely at what is happening," Mngqithi said.

"If you look at the number of games that these boys have played in a short space of time, it was always going to be difficult for them to continue with the high level or the high-octane game that we usually play and the same intensity that we always give.

"It was just unfortunate that people jumped into the route of doubting the team because honestly speaking, we managed under the circumstances.

"We could have done better, and we could have scored the goals. There are chances that we got against AmaZulu that we could have buried, but we were operating on a very low fuel, if I may put it like that."

Sundowns welcome Maritzburg United to Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off is at 15:00) and could stretch their lead over AmaZulu at the top of the DStv Premiership standings to four points with a game in hand.

"We can expect a better run in the upcoming matches because the team will be slightly fresher than before," Mngqithi said.

"We keep on losing players through injuries, but when they come back, they add value. We didn't have Gaston Sirino [against Pirates], but he will be coming back for the next match.

"But we do believe that eight matches as much as it is bad, it is better than the nine we had because the previous matches we had were too close and we also had a cup match, which caused chaos and our results after that cup match have not been good.

"We were really forced to dig deeper as we went to extra time and penalties, but we are back now!"

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