December 3, 2021

Tovey warns Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mngqithi and Mokwena of ‘egos’ derailing their work

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The duo was appointed Downs co-coaches following the departure of their ex-boss Pitso Mosimane to Egyptian giants Al Ahly

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Neil Tovey has urged Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena to place emphasis on effective communication and understanding each other in their new role as the Brazilians’ co-coaches.

The pair was thrust into the Downs hot seat following last week’s departure of former head coach Pitso Mosimane, who took up the coaching job at eight-rime African champions Al Ahly.

While Mngqithi and Mokwena are both at the helm of Sundowns, the arrangement in place states that in the event of a stalemate in decision making, Mngqithi’s word prevails over his counterpart.

“It is not an easy task, the two coaches certainly cannot have egos, they have got to work really well together and understand the roles. My advice would be that they need to communicate before they try to relay the message to the players,” Tovey told Phaaakathi.

“It is important that you get the understanding that if someone will have to make that final decision, it has to be the responsibility of someone and that happens to be Manqoba, because he has been around in coaching more than Rhulani.

“Fortunately they have got players who have been on the bench with them for a while and they understand the type of players and they understand the club. It is nothing new that is coming. When things don’t go according to plan they are going to need to stick together in their decision making and always try to make one decision.”

Tovey has been in Mngqithi and Mokwena’s position before when he was Sundowns co-coach together with Argentine Miguel Gamondi.

Together with Gamondi, they led Downs to the 2005/06 Premier Soccer League title and Tovey continued to offer advice to the current coaches in charge at Chloorkop.

The former Bafana Bafana captain feels that the co-coaches have in-depth knowledge of the team after working for a lengthy period with Mosimane.

“Those coaches have been watching the players when Pitso was not selecting them and they would have had discussions with them. When a new coach comes in or a situation of an assistant coach being promoted, it gives the players a new chance,” said Tovey.

The Sundowns coaching duo takes over a team that has received at least 10 new signings during the current transfer period.

It is not yet clear which players would be released to make way for the new arrivals but midfielder Aubrey Ngoma has returned to Cape Town City.