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HomeDStv PremiershipMokwena Praises Spurs Talent & Middendorp

Mokwena Praises Spurs Talent & Middendorp

After their 1-0 win over Cape Town Spurs on Tuesday, Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena was full of praise for some of Spurs’ young players, and once again expressed his admiration of Ernst Middendorp.

Sundowns won thanks to Lucas Ribeiro’s spot-kick after a contentious penalty was given in the first half.

Speaking after the game, Mokwena singled out some of the young players in Spurs team.

“A difficult team I said to you already, a lot of the big teams have struggled to beat Spurs and I’m just very happy that we’ve taken six points from a very difficult team and some teams have even struggled to take one point,” Mokwena said post match.

“So a good team, well coached, some very, very good young players. Velebayi is such a good player, a lot of potential there. Cupido always a threat, Baartman aggressive, Butsaka in the midfield and you see even when I did my analysis against Chippa, when he came off the team looks completely different and even though he plays with a heavily strapped right knee still so influential on the team.

“And then Bern is showing a lot of confidence and improving and always very difficult also with the system so awkward. A back three that goes into a back four where Dortley can play left-back, left centre-back and then Gumede with his experience inside.

“But okay I think overall I think maybe a draw is a fair reflection of the result but these are the type of games that champions win, where you’re not so strong and not so dominant but you get the job done and I’m very proud of the team and proud of the players. The second half is a 45 minutes that in certain patches I don’t like but that’s not entirely the players fault. 100% it’s also my fault.

“Now when I looked at it, I see too many runners. And maybe potentially I got some of the subs because Mendieta is still a runner, Aubaas is a runner, Tash is a runner, Thaeplo is a runner, and then you don’t have enough controllers on the pitch. You look on the bench you don’t have Marcelo, so I think maybe to ease off the situation on the players. I’ve got to take a little bit of that because we just didn’t play with enough control and I think maybe 99.999% of it is my fault.”

Mokwena once again praised Middendorp, and said he is such a difficult coach to play against.

“A big note for me was be very careful, Middendorp changes, everything you’ve seen for yourself, it just goes out the window because he makes a sub and he changes the structure all the time at half-time,” Mokwena said.

“And I had to put a note to say with all these things that I’ve seen, just be very careful that in the second half it could be for nothing.

“A very good coach, someone I admire a lot. And I’ve spoken a lot about him, and that was just that my observations about the first half.”

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.