Themba Mnguni: Mamelodi Sundowns should prioritize Caf Champions League over PSL

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The former Masandawana captain is confident that the current squad is capable of winning this season's Champions League

With the Caf Champions League quarter-final draw set to take place on Wednesday, Mamelodi Sundowns legend Themba Mnguni says the team should be ready to lock horns with any team.

Defending champions Esperance of Tunisia, Egyptian giants Al Ahly and DR Congolese football heavyweights TP Mazembe are some of the of teams which have qualified for the quarter-finals.

“Yeah, I think it won’t be easy as we all know these are big teams and giants of African football. Sundowns have always fought to get wins out of these sides and I believe the guys are ready for anyone,” Mnguni told Goal.

“In my opinion, I think we need to shift the focus from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) a bit and focus primarily on this one and chase the second star,” he advised.

“It’s a big tournament there is no doubt about that, with respect to the league and all the other competitions. This period calls for sacrifice from everyone in the team, it won’t be easy against Mazembe, Esperance and Al Ahly, but they can be beaten and I believe it will be about gambling going forward,” he noted.

Sundowns are defending PSL champions and they are currently involved in the race for this season's title.

“The strategy remains the same in my view, try to win your home games and fight for positive results away. The mission is to try and convert your chances at home before facing pressure away,” he said.

“For an example in the game against Lobi Stars, it was very important to beat them convincingly here and go to Morocco with no pressure to chase a win,” reflected the former Bafana Bafana defender.

“I am confident Sundowns will always create chances, but it becomes very crucial to score more than one goal because going away with a 1-0 lead is risky,” he responded.

For the past five years, Sundowns have been involved in the competition and Mnguni believes that experience alone is not enough.

“There is experience from the technical team to the players, but some are new to this tournament such as Lebohang Maboe and Emiliano Tade. I don’t think that will be enough to go for glory. I think playing with a heart will do the trick,” continued the legend.

“In this tournament it doesn’t matter whether your tactics are spot on or whether you have top quality in the squad, if you don’t fight with your heart and prepare to die on the field you won’t make it,” said Mnguni.

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“Basically, I want to say experience alone won’t work. I am happy and certainly sure that the guys are aware of what lies ahead and they must give a 200% effort now,” he concluded.

 

 

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