June 24, 2021

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi ‘disappointed’ with substitutes despite heavy win

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The Brazilians made five second half changes but could not further their advantage against their Limpopo visitors

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi is “not happy” his substitutes did not execute themselves in a way he expected during Wednesday’s 4-0 Nedbank Cup Last-16 win over Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld.

A solid first-half display saw the Brazilians wrapping up the job with four goals within the first 30 minutes.

Sundowns coaches then took out Peter Shalulile, Lyle Lakay and Kermit Erasmus at the start of the first half before also pulling off Lesedi Kapinga and Ricardo Nascimento later on.

Promise Mkhuma, Aubrey Modiba, Keletso Makgalwa, Bangaly Soumahoro and George Maluleka was then introduced but Mngqithi is not happy with their contribution in a goalless second half.

“With the right intensity, we managed to force them [Polokwane City] into making errors. We managed four goals in the first half and then we decided to give other players a chance and rest the players we need for Saturday’s game against Stellenbosch,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.

“Unfortunately when we took out our regular players, the game never looked the same. We never looked threatening. I even doubt if we had more than two shots at goal in the second half. It was very disappointing to be honest because when you give an opportunity to somebody who has not been playing, you expect him to exert himself and show that he really deserved to be in the team.

“In hindsight, you say maybe I should have given others a chance because it is always fair to give other players a chance and see what they can offer. Maybe we can say they did not perform to the level we wanted but the good thing is that now they know there is a lot expected from them and they must give their best shot.

“I must be honest, I was not happy at all with the second half. I wanted more, I wanted the team to score as many goals as possible. To me that is what is always important; to score when you have a chance because it builds the confidence of the team. But unfortunately, we did not do that. Nonetheless, it was still a good game.”

Sundowns will now face Orlando Pirates in the quarter-finals on April 15.

But Mngqithi says they are not yet thinking about the Pirates match which comes after they would have played Premier Soccer League and Caf Champions League games against Stellenbosch, TP Mazembe, Black Leopards, Al Hilal, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and CR Belouizdad.

“I do not even want to focus on the Pirates game at this stage,” said Mngqithi. “Our main focus is on our game against Stellenbosch [on Saturday].

We have to take each game as it comes and not think about bigger games that are coming and we end up not correcting our mistakes.