Neeskens remains defiant

Mamelodi Sundowns coach still believes he can turn things around

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens remained defiant on Saturday night despite yet another disappointing loss for his side in the Absa Premiership.

The 1-0 defeat at the hands of Platinum Stars meant the expensively-assembled Brazilians side has now gone eight games without a win in all competitions.

But it was perhaps the manner of the defeat that will be most worrying for Sundowns fans, their sloppy defending and wastefulness in front of goal the biggest contributing factor to the Dikwena win.

It was something that Stars coach Cavin Johnson admitted afterwards, that his side were outplayed on the day, but kept their mistakes to a minimum while Sundowns self-destructed. 

“We prepared ourselves well for this game, we had the intention to play well,” Neeskens said afterwards. “But also you could see in this situation that a lot of players don’t have the confidence that they had before. But we will keep working on that.

“In the second half we gave our all and we also got a bit unlucky. Sometimes in moments we had possibilities, but we could not score.

“I said to the players at halftime that I still believe in trying to play the kind of game that we discussed. We must keep work with the players and I still believe that we can come out of here and we will keep going.”
Johnson says that after a bright start for his team, they were left to hang on a little bit.

“In the first 15 or 20 minutes we should have scored two goals, but late in the game they [Sundowns] could have scored 10 goals I think. They didn’t score 10 goals, I scored one goal and that’s what counts,” Johnson says.

“We didn’t play pretty football, we didn’t play well in the second half. But they didn’t play pretty football either, they didn’t play like Sundowns like to play.

“I thought we played well in the first 25 minutes, we got the goal, we could have scored two or three, but we did not take those chances. I said this last year, maybe I can say it again this time, out of 10 games, they would have won nine and I would have won one.

“Tonight is the night that I win one, so I get the three points. I think my team deserved it.”