Sundowns aim to take three points off Pirates

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Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the team’s focus is on taking three points from any match.
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says the team’s focus is on taking three points from any match.

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says his players must only focus on winning against Orlando Pirates on Saturday as they bid to reach their points target for the opening block of five games in the season.

Sundowns are known to break their season down into five-game sections and have a points target for each, with Mngqithi suggesting the 10 points from four games so far is not enough to reach their opening goal.

“So the issue of anxiety, we have tried to clear that by focusing more on the process and making sure that everybody understands three points is the same, be it [against] Pirates, Ba­roka or TS Galaxy.”
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi

“We’ve emphasised on taking care of the process, and the process is the number of points we want to achieve in each cycle,” Mngqithi says.

“Whoever happens to become an opponent in that space, we focus on that so that we achieve our desired targets and get the points we’re looking for.

“Pirates is that team that must give us that points that can help us to achieve our ultimate target.

“So the issue of anxiety, we have tried to clear that by focusing more on the process and making sure that everybody understands three points is the same, be it [against] Pirates, Ba­roka or TS Galaxy.”

Sundowns have fared well over Pirates in recent times, with 4-1 and 3-0 wins in their last two meetings, and while Mngqithi says a team of the Buccaneers’ quality will always present a challenge, he has the experience in his squad to counter this.

“We can’t start to doubt [ourselves]. Of course, a game like Pirates will always have elements of pressure, intrinsic motivation and that is most likely to bring an element of anxiety, we have to control that space.

“Fortunately, a number of players that we’re using are players used to playing under the pressure for a team like Sundowns.”

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