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Mokwena Explains Why Sundowns Maintains Fluidity With Squad Rotation

  • May 15, 2024
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Mokwena Explains Why Sundowns Maintains Fluidity With Squad Rotation

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena attributes his team’s continued fluidity and inter-passing to the emphasis placed on these aspects during the off-season.

A significantly altered Sundowns lineup cruised to victory, defeating relegation-threatened Royal AM 2-0 at Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday.

Pete Shalilile opened the scoring in the first half with a spectacular aerial volley, while Lesiba Nku – praised by Mokwena for his talent and potential – added a second goal in the latter period. This win keeps Sundowns on track for a record point tally.

Already crowned league champions with six games remaining, Sundowns currently sit on 69 points after 27 matches. They are just two points shy of matching their own record of 71 points, set under coach Pitso Mosimane in the 2015/16 season.

“No, it doesn’t surprise me,” Mokwena responded when asked about the fluidity despite fielding a changed team.

“There are two reasons for this. First, I emphasized this aspect a lot at the end of last season, and it was a key focus at the beginning of this season as well. The players have clearly received the message. Second, at Sundowns, we don’t train for just 11 players. We train the entire squad.”

Mokwena elaborated, “We have certain principles and schemes that we implement in specific situations. Everyone needs to understand their role instinctively in those moments. For some players, especially those joining us in January without a pre-season, adapting can take longer. That’s just football. However, our approach as the technical team is to train for the group, not just the starting lineup. Everyone involved in the squad needs to understand the principles, schemes, and our overall playing style.”

Beyond breaking their own points record, Sundowns are also in prime position to achieve an unprecedented feat: finishing the season undefeated. This would be a historic first in the PSL era.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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