Zondo backs Mngqithi for Sundowns job

Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi, above, gets former Downs coach Khabo Zondo’s vote for the top job
ALL THE MAKINGS: Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach Manqoba Mngqithi, above, gets former Downs coach Khabo Zondo’s vote for the top job

Now that Pitso Mosimane’s ground-breaking move to Egypt has been completed, former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Khabo Zondo believes there is no better candidate to take the club forward than Manqoba Mngqithi.

With the new season set to start in three weeks, Sundowns are likely to appoint Mngqithi as an interim coach until they find Mosimane’s replacement.

Mngqithi was first introduced to the Premiership by Zondo himself as his first assistant at Golden Arrows in the early 2000s.    

He is now the most experienced member of the technical team at Sundowns and Zondo feels he should be given a chance.

“You can sit here and think just because Manqoba has been an assistant coach he can never do what Pitso has done,” Zondo said.

“You look at John Maduka [Bloemfontein Celtic coach], for instance; he has been assistant to Lehlohonolo Seema though he is slightly younger than Maduka.

“But there he came in and the machine is moving.

“The players are used to him.

“One thing I can tell you is that I worked with Manqoba before and he is a brilliant coach.

“A hard-working someone, focused, dedicated and, to me, he and Pitso were able to do what they did because they understood each other.

“They are from the same school of thought and I believe Manqoba can do what Pitso has done, though we don’t know whether it is going to be the same.”

Downs president Patrice Motsepe has in the past favoured foreign-born coaches with the likes of Johan Neeskens, Antonio Lopez, Hristo Stoichkov, Henri Michel and Clemens Westerhof having been at the helm at the club.

But none delivered anything before Mosimane’s arrival in 2012, accumulating a haul of 11 trophies which include a treble just this past season.

Zondo, however, thinks that if Mngqithi can be given a chance, the club are likely to continue to enjoy their recent success.

“If someone is given the opportunity with the same resources and has been there before, and players know him better, with nothing that will shock the players, I don’t see any reason he can’t do well,” Zondo said.

“They were both leaders [and] though players will miss the presence of Pitso, they are not far too off.

“Even when Pitso took over it was a rough start.

“He was almost out of Sundowns until people like ourselves spoke and said ‘why can’t he be given an opportunity like others’.

“We knew once he adapts things will come right.

“Look at what he has achieved now.

“Manqoba, with time, we just have to allow him to dance on that chair and lead, and see what results he will bring.” — SowetanLIVE




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