Many might have expected Mamelodi Sundowns to have a feast of goals against DStv Premiership strugglers Marumo Gallants on Wednesday night, but to much surprise, Downs just managed to net a single goal against Dan “Dance” Malesela’s side.
Sphelele Mkhulise’s goal was enough to steer the defending champions to victory but his coach, Rulani Mokwena, says Sundowns can never be pleased with that kind of a performance.
“In this league if you score one goal and you win, you (ordinarily) should be happy. But because we are Sundowns, we have a certain benchmark and certain standards, we are never satisfied, we want to do better,” said Mokwena.
“We have to try and improve and at the same time keep winning because that gives confidence to the team,” said Mokwena.
“At Sundowns, it is not just about winning – there is a certain expectation on how you have to perform so that you can win. When your performances are not worthy enough to produce results you are going to have problems.
“It was important for us to win, because we have not been in the league program (Sundowns had been playing Champions League over two weekends) and everyone else has been playing and maybe not a lot of distance was created between us and the other teams,” he added.
Part of Masandawana’s achilles heel, as Mokwena pointed out, could be the rotation of players. He admitted that keeping a core of the starting line-up would potentially yield better results. At the same time, however, the technical team feels obliged to spread the responsibility equally.
“Sometimes (rotating) is at the expense of rhythm and that is what we lost in the second half. But we will have games like these. Even if we played the same way in the second half as we did in the first half, we would still talk about how we need to improve,” said the Downs mentor.
He adds: “The only way to improve is to better our best already … we have the players for that. We also like to build the capacity of players like Lebohang Maboe and Haashim Domingo because we are still going to need them, it is going to be a long season.”