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Sundowns coach Mngqithi issues strong warning to rivals after good start to season with win over CT City

The Sundowns’ co-coach believes the Brazilians have an advantage over their rivals because of how the season is structured with the World Cup in the middle

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Sipho Mbule in action during the DStv Premiership game against Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium.
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Sipho Mbule in action during the DStv Premiership game against Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has issued a strong warning to other clubs in the league hoping to dethrone  the DStv Premiership title-holders that the Brazilians mean business this season.

Mngqithi issued this warning moments after Sundowns set the marker for the season by convincingly beating last season’s runners-up and their bogey team, Cape Town City, 2-0 in front of a vibrant crowd at Cape Town Stadium.

The Brazilians, who registered this opening day victory through second-half goals by Aubrey Modiba and Themba Zwane, have a massive target on their back having won the league in the last five seasons.

But this season will be tricky, not because of the Caf Champions League football, but it will be more crammed than usual due to the Fifa World Cup in Qatar during November and December.

When the DStv Premiership resumes from that break, matches will come thick and fast which will even see Sundowns play on New Year’s Eve against Orlando Pirates.

“I think that on our side it might be a little bit of an advantage because we are used to hyper-compensating with two matches per week in terms of our training intensity,” Mngqithi said.

“I am not sure that many other teams will cope easily with playing two big matches every week. We, along with Cape Town City and Royal AM, will have to dig a little bit deeper when we have to go to the Champions League [while Royal AM will play in the Caf Confederation Cup] because that also demands a little bit from us.”

Mngqithi continued: “Others will be resting a little bit more than us, but that rest can be even dangerous for them. It’s very important that we respect each and every game — and also the recovery after each match. It won’t be easy.

“When you have three matches a week, believe you me it won’t be easy for some of the teams.”

The 2-0 win over City was a good start to the season, with Sundowns not only picking up three points but beating a fellow championship rival and keeping a clean sheet.

“One is impressed to start the season with the three points, against a team like this one — away from home, with a clean sheet,” Mngqithi said.

“We appreciate that we are going home with the three points. It’s not an easy trip this one, and I am sure that it will also help us in the future to have come here and gotten the three points. I am sure not many people will come here and get the three points.”

Sundowns’ next assignment is a home game against TS Galaxy at Loftus Versfeld on August 10.


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