JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi has admitted that the club may have made a mistake by keeping Khama Billiat while he was on red hot form and winning trophies.
Billiat will leave Sundowns at the end of the season, and it appears he is on his way to overseas. Sundowns are set to lose him for free unless they sell him in the upcoming transfer window.
Mngqithi was speaking with the media at the launch of Umzimkhulu Soccer Sports' Tournament against Crime on Saturday morning.
“Personally I have a different view in keeping players. The same thing that I’m talking about myself would apply even to the players. When players have won everything with you, and you have read the All Blacks book which is called The Legacy, the best thing to do is to let them go so that you can start afresh and rekindle the fire, the power, desire and hunger.
"When you keeping the same team and hope to achieve the same outcomes, in most cases it doesn’t work,” Mngqithi explained.
Sundowns haven’t won any domestic trophies in a while. Their last success was when they won the League in 2015/16. After that they captured the Caf Champions League and the Caf Super Cup.
This season they have already missed out on the Telkom Knockout and the MTN 8, and their hopes of silverware rest on the league and Nedbank Cup.
“No matter how talented you are, you also need to work on your hunger level. because that’s where better energy comes from," Mngqithi said.
"When a player wants to win something, when a team wants something, there are better chances of winning even if you don’t have a good talented team. If the team has got the desire and the belief that we want to win, their chances of winning are higher.
"The same team that won us so many things it is the same team we are losing so many things with. Psychologically that should tell you something. You can’t have the team that win the Champions League, Super Cup, Premiership, Nedbank and the Telkom and suddenly that team can’t even win a single trophy. You get what I’m saying,” Mngqithi explained.
Sundowns are set to lose a lot of players at the end of the season. Leonardo Castro is on his way to Kaizer Chiefs while Siyanda Zwane and Thela Ngobeni have already expressed their desire to leave the club.
“It is only fair to give other players a chance so that they can be the Billiat of the future, the Anthony Laffor and Themba Zwane of the future. I’m not saying it is nice or it is right or proper to let go of your best players, but I’m just giving you a psychological side in to the issue of players which is my personal belief.
"After winning the Champions League I would have sold Khama, I would have sold Themba and I would have sold my top players and started afresh. Currently you are not going to sell them at the right price because they have not won anything, but if we sold them right after winning the Champions League we would have made better money. We got more than R28-million for Keagan Dolly. The value was very high. I would have let go of those players,” Mngqithi said.