Sundowns playing mind games ahead of Pirates blockbuster clash
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Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has started playing mind games ahead of Saturday's DStv Premiership blockbuster clash against Orlando Pirates in Soweto.
In one fell swoop, Mngqithi has spelt out Pirates' weaknesses and at the time he urged his chances to show humility and not be arrogant.
Sundowns with 10 points are two points clear at the top of the standings> Pirates are in second place with two points less. They share that slot with Stellenbosch and SuperSport United.
Both teams are unbeaten after four rounds, although both teams have been far from convincing. In their last outing, Sundowns battled in the first half against TS Galaxy. It was only after halftime when Galaxy blundered with team changes that Sundowns managed to assert themselves.
Pirates, on the other hand, have managed two draws. Their defence has not inspired confidence. Pirates have conceded three goals after four games. It is in stark contrast to Sundowns, who have yet to concede a goal this season.
"The most important thing when it comes to matches like this is to have a fair share of humility and respect, no room for arrogance," said Mngqithi. "We may have done well in the last few matches, but we are facing a good team that is in form.
"They have just played a good game against Chippa and showed their quality. We must give it the respect it requires and do our work. "We need to profile them and do our analysis. We'll look at which areas we can capitalise on.
"We know that Pirates on transition has always been one of the strongest teams in the country. Be that as it may, they have a very big weakness on their side. They're not very good when you press (test their defence).
"They are open sometimes when they lose possession. It's important to have the proper balance when dealing with their transitions with good counter-pressing. We might get something in that space."
"What we've emphasized as the technical team is taking care of the process. The process is the number of points we want to achieve in each cycle.
"Whoever happens to become an opponent in that space, we focus on that in the space of making sure that we achieve our desired targets. Pirates are the team that must give us the points that can help us to achieve our ultimate target.
"The issue of anxiety, we have tried to kill that by focusing more on the process and making sure that three points are in the bag, be it against Pirates, Baroka or TS Galaxy.
"We must make sure we get the points which can help us achieve our ultimate targets. The players have responded well over several games."