Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi insists that the reigning DStv Premiership champions still have a lot to play for despite the fact that they have already won the league title with few games to spare.
The Brazilians are set to to take on Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Sunday and many believe that this clash has lost its significance because Sundowns have already defended their title. Mngqithi, however, disagrees.
“For us at Sundowns we don’t have any dead rubber because the pride of the club is always at stake. Even in a friendly match we go to that match with the same mentality that we must win at the end of the day and we don’t want to disappoint our supporters as well, [because] we have a responsibility to the yellow nation to make sure that we always represent them with pride, dignity and honor and that’s why all these matches that are left as a team we would want to win all of them,” says Mngqithi.
“It’s very important for us and also to better our benchmarks, last season we got 67 points, the last time we got a very good margin on the log and it was 71 points. We can no longer arrive at 71 points but at least if we can arrive at 70 points it will still be good so we are going to give this game the respect that it requires. We also feel it’s important to urge our supporters to come in numbers because this looks like it’s that match where now we are also going to fight for Calabash, to see who is the boss in that space.”
Sundowns used the FNB Stadium as their home venue for some of their Caf Champions League matches and Mngqithi says Sunday’s game will determine as to who are the ‘real owners’ of the venue.
“I think that it is very important for our supporters to understand that this game has got those connotations now that we have to go there with the mentality to take over the Calabash. We’ve done very well in that space in the Champions League, but now we are meeting the real owners of the stadium and it’s a game that becomes very important in that space. The league is not the most important at this stage, what’s more important is to make sure that the name of Sundowns is engraved in that stadium and everybody understands that we also take it as our home venue.”