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DStv Premiership

Mngqithi Worried Over Clean Sheet Record

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi expressed concern after his side’s draw in Cape Town against Cape Town City.

Downs and the Citizens couldn’t be separated at the Cape Town Stadium as they shared the spoils in a goalless draw in the DStv Premiership on Saturday.

Mngqithi, though, has accepted and admitted that it was a tough game to come out with maximum points.

“Today was a very scrappy game, too many turnovers. We couldn’t control the tempo of the game consistently,” Mngqithi said after the match.

“We made a lot of mistakes on the ball, which exposed us sometimes to very, very scary transitions. We were in times not very focused on our race defence, more especially on our set-pieces and we were nearly punished from that as well.

“But be it as it may, it’s still a good point. One is greedy, he wants more all the time. But for games like this, you always say it’s better not to lose it. Because it could have turned either way. They were a very good team, they gave us a very, very tough match.”

The Masandawana mentor was also concerned about how the team play in order to keep the clean sheet, saying it put more pressure and make the team lose focus on the game.

“Yeah this thing of the clean sheets is in as much as it’s nice to say ‘you have not conceded in as many matches’, but on the other side, I also feel now it is beginning to put a bit of pressure on the team,” he added.

“Like I’m saying we were a little bit edgy, more especially on the ball from build-ups, we committed a few errors, which could have easily resulted in us being punished.

“Now this thing of not conceding is becoming an anxiety factor if I can put it like that because we are now anxious to try to make sure that we protect that space. And not playing freely, like in a game of football, if you concede you concede, if you score more than the other team, you win the match.

“This thing of clean sheets, yes, it’s always nice and good because it’s part of our plan and our process, but it’s always going to put a little bit of pressure on the team because now when you’re playing the game of football, and you are not expected to make to commit any mistakes, that’s when you end up committing a little bit more.

“But when you play a game of football wanting to dominate and fighting for every ball and fighting for everything, but knowing, very well, that opponents can score against you, and you will score more than them, it makes the game a little bit more free.

“I’m not saying I want the team to start conceding goals, but I’m just saying this thing of not having conceded a goal, it’s slowly piling up the pressure on the team and making the team play with a little bit more anxiety.”

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