Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi says he was never bothered by the doubters who questioned his appointment when he took over from the successful Pitso Mosimane.

Mngqithi assumed the seat with Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela‚ and the trio faced furious condemnation that at times bordered on insults.

When Mosimane‚ who won five league titles at Chloorkop‚ left Sundowns before the start of the season‚ Mngqithi, Mokwena and Komphela took over in an unusual co-coaching arrangement. Most people did not give them a chance of succeeding, but the trio are now laughing at the doubters.

They got off to a disappointing start with a 1-0 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic in the opening round of the MTN8 and the result led to ridicule by rivals fans. They were called “Shadrach‚ Meshach and Abednego”, biblical figures from the book of Daniel.

The trio overcame that poor start to win the league title with three matches to spare‚ also reaching the semifinal of the Nedbank Cup where they lost 6-5 on penalties to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).

They also reached the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League where they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Mosimane’s Al Ahly.

“I regard myself as somebody who is not a failure and as to what other people think at times, it is always neither here nor there‚” said Mngqithi.

“The unfortunate part of our society is the people who criticise you are the people who should be lifting you up. I believe that when we were given the opportunity to coach this team‚ it was the president [Patrice Motsepe] knowing our capacity and we had to deliver on that.

“As a football coach‚ I am one in SA that has coached at almost every level. From the local domestic league I have won the league‚ SAB league and the ABC Motsepe League.

“The only league that I have not seen was the National First Division [NFD] because I only spent one season as a coach there.

“At Golden Arrows I brought their first trophy after they had never won a trophy before but this is something that I don’t want to dwell much on,” he said.

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