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Mamelodi Sundowns must roll up their sleeves, SuperSport United a hard nut to crack – Mngqithi

14:40 GMT+4 10/12/2021
Manqoba Mngqithi, Mamelodi Sundowns, October 2020
The co-coach explains where Masandawana must improve to stand a chance of beating Matsatsantsa and claim Tshwane derby bragging rights on Saturday

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has warned his side to expect a difficult game in the Tshwane derby when they come up against SuperSport United in a Premier Soccer League fixture on Saturday.

After the 2-2 draw in the first round meeting at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on November 24, the two local giants will clash again in their second-round meeting at Lucas Moripe Stadium with the Brazilians keen to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

However, Mngqithi has admitted how tough it will be to break down a resilient Matsatsantsa, who were the first side to score a goal against them in the top-flight this season in the 2-2 draw.

Since conceding against SuperSport, Sundowns went ahead to concede goals against Stellenbosch in a 1-1 draw and in the 3-2 win against Royal AM in their last assignment.

'Sundowns must guard against anxiety'

“We must just play to guard against anxiety, guard against a little bit of arrogance to think that we deserved to win the previous match so naturally we are entitled to win this one, there is no game that we are entitled to win, we must work very hard,” Mngqithi told the media ahead of the derby.

“We must roll our sleeves and know SuperSport are a hard nut to crack but our boys understand what is expected of them and we will give it our best shot because there is no game that we believe we deserve to lose as Sundowns.

“We believe we can always win every match we play and even when we have not won we always ask ourselves what could we have done better to win the match and maybe those are the areas we have to improve on heading to the SuperSport game.”

Mngqithi is also unhappy they conceded two goals against Matsatsantsa in the first meeting and further insisted they deserved to get a win from the game.

'We are facing a new chapter'

“It is still very sour that we conceded two goals against SuperSport in a game that we all believe we could have easily wrapped with more goals than two Ronwen [Williams] also made some stunning saves in the match,” Mngqithi continued.

“But the truth of the matter is now we are facing a new chapter where we have to focus on what is in front of us and give it our best shot.

“We never believed we deserved a draw in the previous match and the same feeling will go into this match saying we believe as Sundowns we can win this match, how can we improve on what we did in the previous match because there were some areas that we needed to improve on from the last match and if we work harder in those aspects we definitely stand a chance of doing better.”

On what to expect from the derby, Mngqithi said: “Sundowns and SuperSport always play very interesting football that is one thing that I always pride the Tshwane derby with because it is always an interesting match to watch for the spectators.

“It is usually a match that is full of goals but more than anything else it now that we threw and conceded our first two goals of the season in the first match and I think everybody will be hyped up for this match.”

Sundowns are topping the 16-team table with 34 points from 14 matches, winning 10, drawing four and they are yet to lose a game.

Meanwhile, SuperSport are placed in third position with 22 points from 14 outings.