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Give this Mamelodi Sundowns group flowers - Mokwena

14:23 SAST 2023/01/11
Rhulani Mokwena, Mamelodi Sundowns, January 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has hailed his players while explaining why the team deserves all the plaudits.
  • Downs completed 10 league wins on the trot
  • Key players have been missing in recent games
  • Mokwena comments on their feat

WHAT HAPPENED? Sundowns edged Chippa United 2-1 at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday to complete a 10th successive league win. Teboho Mokoena and substitute Peter Shalulile were on target for the Tshwane giants while Thabiso Lebitso grabbed Chippa’s goal.

Masandawana were missing key players like Abdel Boutouil, Thapelo Morena, Terrence Mashego, Rivaldo Coetzee, Lebohang Maboe, Gift Motupa, Bongani Zungu, Abubeker Nasir and Thabiso Kutumela but went on to show their depth.

Mokwena has hailed his charges as Shalulile returned to score after a spell on the sidelines.

WHAT MOKWENA SAID: “Very important, he is an important player for us. Loved by the group, you saw how everyone celebrated when he [Shalulile] scored,” said Mokwena as per Sowetan Live.

“He is still the reigning footballer of the season and top goal scorer. This is what I’m saying to you guys [media] if you discredit the work of the entire football club, it is a little bit unfair because you had the footballer of the season out and you are still 13 points ahead of number two [SuperSport United].

“You have Rivaldo, Bongani Zungu out, Lebogang Maboe out, Shalulile, Abubeker Nasir, who we have signed to improve the team he has been out for the majority of the season. And when you consider what we have and not had the luxury to be able to utilise in terms of the players that everybody knows the quality that they bring to this Mamelodi Sundowns side.

“This is what I say, it is incredible what this group of players has done because they continue to play week in and week out. Erwin Saavedra has been out. Then you can go on and on and Thapelo Morena has been out so is Terrance Mashego. So, why don’t you give this group the flowers they deserve because they have taken on the responsibility with no complaints?

“We know we are not at the level where we want to be yet. A lot of people are saying we are not at a level where anyone thinks we should be.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Having assembled a squad to compete on the domestic front as well as the Caf Champions League, Sundowns are rich in depth. A considerable number of their players have always been sidelined by injury or illness but they always have cover.

That sets them apart from their PSL rivals as they manage fulfilling a crammed fixture programme without complaining of fatigue.

STORY IN THREE PICTURES:

WHAT NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS: Up next for Msandawana is the Tshwane Derby against SuperSport United as they bid for a record-extending 11th consecutive league win.