Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has admitted that their team has “not been able to score enough goals,” but the introduction of new forwards has given them hope for “better numbers.”
Peter Shalulile who arrived at Chloorkop from Highlands Park, as well as former Cape Town City star Kermit Erasmus scored their debut Premier Soccer League (PSL) goals in Downs' colours in last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs.
It was a flying start for the Downs new boys and the coach feels that his new acquisitions could improve his team’s scoring rate after forming a formidable striking partnership with the likes of Mauricio Affonso and Gaston Sirino.
“We have not been able to score enough goals,” said Mngqithi as per Sowetan Live.
“We’ve been creating a lot of opportunities, we’ve been working very hard to improve those statistics, but we’ve not been able to come up with goals. We were just unfortunate because our defensive record is normally good.
“But with Kermit, [Gift] Motupa, Affonso, Gaston, and Shalulile, we should hope for a little bit better in terms of the numbers that we can collect from them.”
Mngqithi appears to be unimpressed by the fact that Downs won the league title last season with 43 goals, the same as fifth-placed SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic who finished eighth.
Runners-up Kaizer Chiefs were five goals better than the Brazilians.
But beginning the current campaign by scoring three goals and watching his front-runners fitting in well is “encouraging” for Mngqithi.
“It is encouraging to see them playing together for the first time, but I believe there is still a lot of room for improvement. The intensity was not at the level that we wanted, and Kermit also faded off a little bit in the second half just before he scored,” Mngqithi said.
Victory over Chiefs came on the background of some sharp criticism after Sundowns had been eliminated from the MTN8 after losing 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic the previous weekend.
Critics began questioning co-coaches Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena and well as senior coach Steve Komphela’s pedigree to fill in former coach Pitso Mosimane’s shoes.
“We must always expect something negative in football,” said Mngqithi.
“I was so negative myself because I wanted to win that match. When I didn’t win, I was also negative, so whoever was doing the same towards the outcome, I don’t blame him. It is not a good thing to lose in a cup match.”
Sundowns now prepare to host Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in their next league match on Wednesday.