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Mamelodi Sundowns still hoping to break more records, says Manqoba Mnqgithi

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mnqgithi

FILE - Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mnqgithi. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published May 5, 2022

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Durban — Despite having already won the DStv Premiership, Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has insisted that his side will continue to try and win their remaining league games and are hoping to better the 67 points that they got last season.

Masandawana have three remaining league fixtures against Kaizer Chiefs, Stellenbosch FC and Royal AM before they contest the Nedbank Cup final against Marumo Gallants later this month. Should they also win the Nedbank Cup, they will claim a treble after having won the MTN 8 earlier in the season.

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Next up for Sundowns is their game against bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. Following the recent sacking of Stuart Baxter, the Amakhosi are under the leadership of co-coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard. Chiefs will head into the game with some confidence after beating Marumo Gallants 1-0 this week to end a four match losing streak.

“At Sundowns, we don’t have any dead rubbers. Even in friendly matches, we try to win. We don’t want to disappoint our supporters. We have a responsibility to the Yellow Nation to represent them with pride and dignity. It will be good to get 70 points. We urge our supporters to come in numbers as our game against Chiefs can help us establish who is the boss of the Calabash (FNB Stadium). We have done well in that space in the Champions League and now we are meeting the real owners,” said Mngqithi.

Even though Chiefs have struggled for consistency for the best part of the last ten years, Mngqithi is impressed by the way that Sheppard and Zwane work with young talent.

“Arthur and Dillon have done good work. They are bringing in youngsters that did well in the previous season. It is encouraging for us as South Africans. We have seen that youngsters like Njabulo Ngcobo have shown that they are ready. They have improved in leaps and bounds. Their style of play is better than it has been in our recent games against them. We still believe that we can go into this game and win it. They are coming off an impressive game and that will allow them to be competitive in this game,” Mngqithi said.

All eyes will also be on Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile. With 21 league goals, the Namibian is destined to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot Award. Should he score five more goals, he will beat the all-time record for goals scored in a single season. The current record is held by Collins Mbesuma who netted 25 league goals for Kaizer Chiefs in the 2004/05 season.

Mnqgithi insists that individual records are not the focus of Sundowns.

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“We have not looked into that. We are focusing on each game at a time. We don’t want to bring anxiety to Shalulile. We will help him to score if we can. We would like to see him breaking the record but it’s not on the top of our minds. We will try to support Peter but won’t pile the pressure on him. He is one of the best professionals that I have worked with,” said Mngqithi.

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