Sundowns coach not fretting over busy schedule: 'You've always got to be ready'

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Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns made it 13 league wins in a row as they beat TS Galaxy 2-1 at the Mbombela Stadium.
  • Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena was full of praise for his side's performance despite eight changes to the starting line-up.
  • Sundowns will face Sekhukhune United on Saturday. 

Mamelodi Sundowns overcame a stern test as they beat a resolute TS Galaxy 2-1 at the Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday evening, extending their lead to 19 points at the top of the DStv Premiership.

Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena had plenty of praise for his side's performance as they extended their winning run to 13 consecutive league matches.

In a very busy schedule, Sundowns made eight changes to their starting line-up.

"Huge compliments to the group, we are a good team with very good players," Mokwena told reporters.

"We also happen to have very good human beings in the changing room so it becomes easier when you have good human beings, good football players who happen to be good human beings and we have to continue to try and be better because we've got a difficult one on Saturday (against Sekhukhune United).

"Today (Tuesday) was a very good performance, one team on the pitch. We created so many chances and we should have scored more goals, but congratulations to the players, we are very proud of them."

Mokwena was asked about the performances of individual players such as Sphelele Mkhulise, who received the man of the match award. Mokwena opted not to focus on individual players but rather the team as a whole.

"I'm not one to speak about individual football players, I'm not one to say to the group this player or that player but there were a lot of good performances today.

"It was a very good team performance, and of course, when you have a very good team performance, it means you've got to have some standout performers and that's what we had on the pitch. So congratulations to everybody, it's always a collective effort, and we are very proud of them."

The Brazilians have had a busy schedule recently as they have played the most league games (19) so far this season, resulting in the heavily rotated side against Galaxy.

Mokwena acknowledged the difficulties of playing so many matches in such a short space of time. The schedule will not get any easier for The Brazilians as the CAF Champions League and Nedbank Cup are also set to resume on 7 and 11 February, respectively.

Despite this, Mokwena refused to use it as an excuse, instead using it as an opportunity to rotate his side.

"We knew about the schedule going into the-mid season break.

"We worked hard on trying to train every player to make sure every player is ready, and this is the situation we find ourselves in at a big club. 

"You've always got to be ready to play every two to three days, and the depth allows us to give opportunities confidently, and to put faith and confidence and trust in each and every one of the players in the team, and that's what we have to do.

"The only solution to a hectic schedule is freshness, rotation and to make everybody feel part of the process. We continue to work.

"We've played seven games in 24 days, it's not easy. That means there's not enough time to train, but we working hard to make sure we improve the team and improve the individual players in the team," he concluded.

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