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Mngqithi – I Think The Season Is Too Squashed

After his team beat Orlando Pirates 3-0 in the DStv Premiership on Sunday, Mamelodi Sundowns Co-Head Manqoba Mngqithi says he is concerned that the congested season may see players burnt out in the 2021/2022 campaign.

Mngqithi was addressing Sundowns recent ‘dip’ in form prior to Sunday’s win, and the coach says his team were definitely affected by the amount of the matches they have been playing in a short space of time.

Mngqithi says that perhaps the season could have ended later than the scheduled finish at the end of this month, and while he understands the concerns with Covid-19, he feels the season was too squashed.

The defending champions returned to first place with the victory, after AmaZulu had topped the table for 24 hours. Sundowns do still have two games in hand over Benni McCarthy’s team.

“I just feel sometimes we we are very unfair to to make judgments without really looking very closely at what is happening,” Mngqithi told the media after the game.

“If you look at the number of games that these boys have played in a very short space of time. It was always going to be difficult for them to sustain the the high level or the high octane game that we normally play and the same intensity that we always give.”

“And it was unfortunate that people jumped into the route of doubting the team, because honestly speaking, we managed under the circumstances we could have done better. We could have scored the goals. There are chances that we got against AmaZulu that we could have buried, but we were operating on a very low fuel, if I may put it like that, because we never really got an extra day to rest so that we can have a match day minus two training session.”

“And a match day one as well, we never had that, we would have a training session and match day minus one, and at times we have to force a break and only come in on match day minus one, it’s never really easy to expect the players to recharge their engines, on match day minus one, you are only trying to come back it’s very difficult.”

“Under normal circumstances, if our media, our people, were to look at it very closely, they would be saying, why do we have to squash this season so much, why do we have to finish at the time when we have to finish? Because we could easily stretch it a little bit.”

“You cannot expect teams to play 20, 25 games in less than three months, it’s very difficult. And don’t be surprise, next season not only Sundowns players, Pirates players Chiefs players, don’t be surprised next season when theree are players that are really burnt out, who cannot function because the bodies are never really given a chance to recover.”

“And before they recover, again, they are expected to to come back into the match. And physiologically if you can check with the doctors and everybody, you will understand that we are putting a strain on the bodies of this boys. And we must not be surprised next season if some of them can’t function because honestly speaking it’s a little bit tough.”

“Yes, we understand it’s COVID, but I think the season is too squashed. We are expected to play 19 games in two months, in eight weeks, we are playing more than half a season. It’s never really easy for anyone.”

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