Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says his side will stick to their playing concept and has asked his players to giving them what they used to as they look to overturn their first-leg deficit in Sunday’s Caf Champions League quarterfinal return leg against Atletico Petroleos.
The Brazilians suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat in Angola last weekend and will be looking to overturn the aggregate score and book a spot in the semi-finals of the competition.
Speaking to the press ahead of the game, Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi said that he expects a high octane game with strong elements of high pressing and strong quick short passing.
“We will stick to our playing concept, we are a team that wants to dominate the field and dominate the ball. Dominating the field means winning all duels, winning all our 1v1 battles and also dominating the ball possession and chances created.
“We want to see our team giving us what we are used to. It’s no different to a game that starts at nil-nil, we always want to score, we always want to win”
“We want to play a high octane game, where we have a strong elements of high pressing and strong quick short passing.”
The Downs coach also touched on the use of VAR after his side hate a late equaliser ruled out by the VAR in the first leg.
“It’s a little bit of a challenge, but perhaps it’s something we have to adapt to. We’ve seen in [European football] when there is something dubious, you expect the referee to go to the screen, however it seems in Africa they choose when they go check the screen.”
On the day of press conference, Sundowns welcomed fans to Chloorkop for an open training session in a bid to build anticipation for the game. Mngqithi expressed his excitement in strengthening the connection between the fans and the players with this initiative:
“To be honest I think its the best decision, I’ve seen it with many European teams. I think it brings a sense of ownership for the spectators when they see the preparations, they don’t take things for granted. [When the fans have this sense of ownership] at times they will get disappointed, at times they will get satisfied, so it’s very important.”
“What we always try put into the minds of the players is that they must give the fans a reason to want to come watch them for in the next match. This means they should put on a spectacle, regardless of the result, if you show that you have left a piece of your skin on the pitch, you are saying ‘we have done our best’ and at times its not the result that will bring people back,” he concluded.