Downs resist MTN8 desperation tag

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Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has emphasised that they are not overly desperate in their pursuit to finally lift the MTN8 trophy.

For all the success that Sundowns have enjoyed through the last decade winning a dozen trophies which have counted for the league, Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup, the MTN8 has been elusive.

Sundowns last won the Top 8 when it was sponsored by SAA back in 2007 and under MTN8 they have twice been runners-up.

"Desperation no," Mokwena said when asked if their chase for the MTN8 title has become an obsession.

"Funny I was listening to the radio this morning and I had the song Desperado. We are not desperate. We are people of process. We are serious people who are focused and extremely motivated and ours is on the prize.

"We have a responsibility to make sure that we prepare as well as we can for every single match to give ourselves the best possibility to win every single match. That’s the mandate, the goal, the focus. We had a league match against Chippa United (on Tuesday) and we went there trying to win and we were disappointed we didn’t win the game.

"When you walked into the change room you could possibly hear a pin drop and that was how sombre the mood was. That is the mood in champions when they don’t win football matches. There is no consolation. It is win or bust and that is the mentality.

Mokwena added that their target remains bigger

"I read an interview by Rivaldo Coetzee (latest edition of KICK OFF), and the standout line was that we are a bunch of winners. It is our responsibility to continue and sustain winning and success means you must know how you have achieved it. Knowing how you achieved it means you must have a plan and strategy and a certain way that this is the idea. The idea is the starting point, the game model, how we perform on the field are feelings that must be synonymous with the club and what the club is about. Then you add the talent, and we try to make sure we have the best talent in the country, and you top that up with perseverance and that is the only way we know how which is to work, work and work. Where we must improve, we have to be patient because the reality is that the style of play is something where we try to work on," says Mokwena.

Sundowns have this year moved into the semi-finals and have a first leg date with Golden Arrows away in Durban on Saturday.

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