Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi says complacency will not creep in at the club because they are fair to everyone and whenever they are given chances they grab them.
It is remarkable that a team that has achieved so much since Rulani Mokwena took over in October has only lost one game, but still the insatiable appetite to win matches and break records has not diminished.
When Sundowns came from behind to beat Stellenbosch late last month at Lucas Moripe Stadium, they set up the record of the longest unbeaten run of 32 in the DStv Premiership, surpassing that of their bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs in 2005.
The Tshwane giants, who it appears that it will take an wrestle to stop them this season yet again, have won 26 and drawn six of those matches since losing to SuperSport United in the September 2022.
They also matched Chiefs’ record of winning the opening eight matches of the league this season with a return of 24 points, with Chiefs having achieved this season under Stuart Baxter in 2014/15 season.
The only loss Mokwena has suffered was when they were shocked by Stellenbosch in the Nedbank Cup quarter final last season. In the CAF Champions League where they looked heavy favourites due to the football that was pleasing in the eye last term, they exited due to the away goal rules to Wydad Casablanca of Morocco last year.
They face Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 final sold out match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and coach Mngqithi said the only cure in ensuring no one feels otherwise is that they are fair to everyone and they give chances based on meritocracy.
“The best medicine to keep complacent (away) is competition,” replied Mngqithi.
“I think that is what we have done very well. Every player at Sundowns knows that he is not entitled to position, I’m not entitled to my position as well, coach Rulani is not entitled to his position.
“Competition is rife. You know if you are not doing what you are supposed to do, you’ll be out. I think that is what has held us.
“Ours is to guide and make sure that we understand what needs to be achieved as a team and rest is left for them to compete for their places.
“All we have to do is to try to be very fair, making sure that whoever does well is given a chance and we are not choosing by faces.”
Last season Sundowns also set up a new record, winning the league title on 1 April with seven games to go, the earliest in the league history, passing the 2006/07 season which was five games to go and surpassing the 2021/22 which was four games to go. They won last season’s title after SuperSport drew with Chippa United.