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Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena says coaching staff take responsibility for the lack of proper preparation and clarity in Downs’ 3-2 win over Royal AM. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena says coaching staff take responsibility for the lack of proper preparation and clarity in Downs’ 3-2 win over Royal AM. Picture: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/GALLO IMAGES

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena says the coaching staff take responsibility for the lack of proper preparation and clarity in roles and functions ahead of their nervy 3-2 win over Royal AM on Wednesday.

Sundowns led 3-0 after 72 minutes through an opener from Thabiso Kutumela and a brace from Peter Shalulile, but a determined Royal AM launched a spirited second-half fightback with two late goals by Victor Letsoalo.

During his post-mortem, Mokwena admitted they struggled, largely in the first half, because players were not fully prepared to implement the structural and tactical changes that were put in place to counter an awkward Royal AM.

“Of course we analysed the opposition and we knew  there was a lot of work to be done to control the wide spaces because of the narrow attack,” said Mokwena.

“We struggled a little in the first half to settle in the formation because of the tactical changes we made. The decision we made was to control the wide spaces with centre halves.

“In the second half, we made a decision to control the half spaces with the midfielders and we looked a little more comfortable, though this is not a performance that we will spend a lot of time on.

“Normally I watch our last game twice or three times and do the corrections, but I don’t think I am going to watch this game too many times. We struggled with the structure, we didn’t play well and we lacked a lot of compactness.

“We could have done better to help the players prepare a little better on the pitch, but we take the three points.”

Mokwena added that though they did not get some things right on the day in this crucial victory, which saw them open an 11-point gap at the top of the standings, players gave their all.

“Structurally we were uncomfortable on the pitch and when we went back to a back four and restructured, we had a little control of the half spaces from the midfield and we looked a lot more comfortable.”

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