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Mngqithi – Why Downs Have Struggled In MTN8

Ahead of today’s MTN8 semi-final second leg, Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi says that Golden Arrows can be a very dangerous team, especially in cup games.

The two teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Durban, and although Sundowns have the advantage of the away goal, Mngqithi says they they will respect their opponent, and will be focussed on getting a result.

Mngqithi also commented on Sundowns’ failure to win this tournament in recent years, having never won the cup since MTN were the sponsors.

“At this stage, we can’t be arrogant because I don’t think Arrows has performed bad from the beginning of the season, they’ve given it their biggest shot, and they have not lost too many matches in the process,” Mngqithi said ahead of today’s game.

“So that says they are still a very dangerous team. And they’ve always been dengerous against us in cup matches. So we have to give them the necessary respect and put maximum focus in the game itself.

“With regard to us not having started badly, I wouldn’t say we normally start bad, because when I look at the records in terms of the first cycle in the league, we’ve always either, one season where we had seven points after the first five games, but many seasons we’ve always knocked around 11 or 13 points in the league, but in the MTN8, we’ve kind of struggled to pull it through.

“I remember a few games where we bombed out to Platinum Stars because maybe we were trying new combinations to early in the season, and that would cause problems for us.

“And there are some scenarios where we bombed out in the final against Wits, at that stage the Champions League was very rife, it was in the final stages, in the semifinals of the Champions League, I think we were playing Zesco in that space, and we did not have as much legs because there was also a lot of traveling during the time.

“And also in the semifinals against Cape Town City, where I think we did very well, we were unfortunate some decisions did not favour us in Cape Town. And unfortunately we bombed out on the semi-final of that cup.

“So I would not say we’ve always generally started badly. But I would say in the MTN8, we’ve had different scenarios that have made us not to lift to the trophy.

“And even now we are very cautious of that, because like I am saying we did arrive in the final against Wits. We did arrive in the semifinals against Cape Town City.

“But we’ve struggled to lift the trophy so we must tread very carefully and make sure that we give it all the focus that is necessary.”

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