Following a miserable first six months of the season stuck on the sidelines at Mamelodi Sundowns, the powerful centre-back was snapped up by the Citizens in January, with the 24-year-old moving to greener pastures in search of game-time.
And despite the reliable defensive pairing of Robyn Johannes and Taariq Fielies being preferred by coach Benni McCarthy, Mngonyama has managed seven starts and four substitute appearances across all competitions since his move from Gauteng.
With Johannes off to Bidvest Wits next season, Mngonyama is being groomed as the skipper’s replacement next season, and is satisfied with his progress so far, happy to bide his time ahead of the next campaign.
“So far I’m happy with my contribution and feel I am peaking at the right time,” the defender tells KickOff.com. “After I didn’t play for six months, it wasn’t easy for me at all – I even gained weight, but now I’m almost there, I can feel it.
“So when the next season starts, I feel I’ll be back to normal, as I didn’t have a pre-season at all. But next season I’ll have pre-season with City, and find myself at home, and am looking forward to doing well and doing my best for the team, and myself as well.”
The former Wits and Maritzburg United loanee admits it’s a less-than-ideal run-in to the end of the season for his club, having been knocked out of both the CAF Confederation Cup and Nedbank Cup while losing ground in the league, but insists his side will remain positive as they target a strong end to the campaign.
“In the game of football we have to expect these things – it happens,” he says. “But we have to have a positive mindset and attitude, as it’s not over yet – we still have league games to play, as the season is not yet done. We still have something to play for, to fight for our place in the top eight. That’s all we have left to play for, so we have to give it our all.”
City are up against SuperSport United in their next league encounter, scheduled to take place at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.