Mamelodi Sundowns captain Method Mwanjali says that the barren spell is over at the Brazilians, vowing that they will rack up trophies this football season.
Mwanjali, whose side clashes with Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 semi-finals this weekend, says that despite the defending champions being a very difficult opponent, Sundowns would still emerge victorious as they launch their trophy haul mission for the current campaign.
“It will be a tough game; there is no doubt about that because Pirates are a very tough side to play against. But we are ready for them and have really done our homework on the team that beat us last season,” Mwanjali told KickOff.com.
“We go into not only this game, but the whole season being both optimistic and confident that we will win things for our supporters who have been starved of such success for far too long.”
The defender, who is also the Zimbabwe national team captain, blamed Sundowns’ lack of success last season to inconsistency, but believes that this is now a thing of the past, following the arrival of new coach Johan Neeskens.
“Consistency comes with hard work at both training and in matches and that is what we have now at Sundowns. We have a new coach with new strategies and everything in our play is different from what people used to see, so we have opened a new chapter,” he added.
“What happened in the past few seasons is now history and people should not dwell on it. Our aim now is to win as many games and trophies as possible to restore the giant status that Sundowns have.”
Meanwhile, Sundowns midfielder Solomon Okpako says he is looking forward for his first big game in South Africa at Orlando Stadium tomorrow.
Okpako made his debut for Sundowns when they beat Jomo Cosmos 2-0 a league match on Wednesday and the Nigerian says he is hoping to build on that performance.
“It was exciting to play my first game for Sundowns against Cosmos and being part of the winning team on Wednesday was just cherry on top of the cake. I came in during the second half and I think I did well for those few minutes considering that was my first game.
“I am not saying that we will beat Pirates because football is an unpredictable sport, but our preparations for this game have gone very well and I am confident that we will give of our best on Sunday (tomorrow),” he adds.
Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic (VV) says a stronger Amakhosi will meet Ajax Cape Town in this weekend’s MTN8 semi-final, following the timely recovery of some of the team’s injured players.
Chiefs have been missing key players who were injured in the Carling Black Label Cup clash against Orlando Pirates, while defender Thomas Sweswe and midfielder Mthokozisi Yende also missed the mid-week 2-0 league win over Moroka Swallows because of flu.
VV said some of these players would be available for selection in today’s game that is scheduled for the FNB Stadium. —Kick Off