Mamelodi Sundowns Co-Head Coach Rulani Mokwena says that ahead of today’s DStv Premiership game against Chippa United, there’s a very different mood in camp after Sundowns suffered their first loss in 28 games on Friday.
Sundowns lost 2-0 to Algeria’s CR Belouizdad, their first loss since October in all competitions, and while the loss means very little in the big picture (Sundowns had already won their group in the CAF Champions League), Mokwena says the team is already ready to bounce back.
Mokwena says it’s now a test of character, to see how they respond in this game.
“Ja, we face Chippa United on the back of a defeat, we haven’t felt like this in a very long time,” Mokwena told the club’s media department.
“The mood is extremely sombre. There’s of course a feeling of unhappiness in and around the workspace.”
“But it’s okay, this is how we have to test our resolve, this is how we have to test our mental fortitude, where are we, can we bounce back? Because it’s not in failing that you are tested, it’s in how do you react after the failure, after the fall and how quickly do you get up and arrest the situation.”
“And that’s what we’ve got to do, we can arrest the situation, feel the pain, the pain is good, because the pain drives you to not want to be in that space again. So we try to work and we move and focus on the next one.”
Mokwena admits it’s been a bit difficult to prepare for Chippa, as they don’t have too much of a profile for interim coach Siyabulela Gwambi.
“Preparing for Chippa is very, very difficult, very difficult at this point in time because of the change in leadership. The change in the technical direction from a coaching perspective and the coach in charge at this moment in time, we don’t know much about him.”
“We can’t even profile his games except for his stint in the MDC. But the reality is, we still have a responsibility to do our work. And we have to do our work and we can’t complain.”