For all their dominance of local football, Mamelodi Sundowns have failed to lift the MTN8 trophy. This year they find themselves in the semi-finals yet again, facing the unpredictable Golden Arrows with the tie level at 1-1. While confident, co-head coach Manqoba Mnqithi says they tread carefully in their quest to annex the season’s first piece of silverware.
“At this stage we can’t be arrogant because I don’t think Arrows have performed bad, they’ve given it their best shot and they’ve not lost too many matches. We have to give them respect and put maximum effort on the game itself,” Mnqithi told the media ahead of the second leg semi-final scheduled for Tuesday.
Mnqithi believes there are a few factors that have led to table-topping Mamelodi Sundown’s failure to add the MTN8 trophy to their full cabinet.
“I remember when we bombed out to Platinum FC maybe because we were trying new combinations too early and that would cause problems for us. And there were some scenarios where we bombed to Wits. The champions league was in its final stages at that point and we did not have the legs because there was also a lot of traveling at that stage,” explained the Sundowns mentor about some of the times his team has fallen short of MTN8 glory.
With Mamelodi Sundowns heavily favoured in all quarters to proceed and face the winner of the other semi-final featuring Swallows FC and Cape Town City FC, Mnqithi has called for caution.
“Even now, we are very cautious because like I say, we did arrive in the final against Wits, we did arrive in the final against but we’ve struggled to lift the trophy so we must tread very carefully and give it all the focus that is necessary,” stressed Mnqithi.
The Sundowns technical team is also going to be in consultation with the medical team over the readiness of Rivaldo Coetzee who has a cut, Themba Zwane with a stiff quad, and goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene who picked up a knock in the Saturday training session.