Durban - Golden Arrows are keen to exploit some “shortcomings” within the Mamelodi Sundowns team, according to coach Manqoba Mngqithi, when the two sides lock horns in a Nedbank Cup last 16 encounter in Pretoria on Friday night.
Both clubs have struggled in the league this season and are similarly placed on 23 points each, although the Brazilians go into the game on the back of successive losses.
Sundowns were beaten 1-0 by Moroka Swallows and suffered an arguably even bigger psychological blow when they went down by the same scoreline to SuperSport United at the weekend.
“We respect Sundowns. They’re a big team with a lot of quality players, but we are fully aware of some of the shortcomings they have,” Mngqithi said ahead of the clash.
“We are just hoping that on the day, if they can show all those shortcomings we’ve seen, then maybe we can come out victorious.”
The Abafana Bes’thende boss admitted, however, that winning at Loftus Versfeld was "not going to be easy” against a team of expensively assembled stars.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who took charge in December when Johan Neeskens departed the club, has struggled to bring the best out of his players following a promising start to his tenure.
After going unbeaten in their first eight games under the former Bafana Bafana boss, the last two defeats have put them back under pressure.
“I wouldn’t really want to comment on their situation because I don’t know what is happening inside,” Mngqithi said.
“This rotation system they are using works for some coaches, but then for others it doesn’t, and it doesn’t seem to be going too well there.
“Especially when you bring in players that are not match fit or haven’t played for a while, it’s going to have a negative impact.”
The Arrows coach, who is less than six months into his second stint with the club, having coached the Durban outfit between 2006 and 2010, said he was still trying to re-instill the unique attacking brand of play that he developed at the club earlier in his career.
“I always believe Golden Arrows has its own marvellous style of football and we are trying to rekindle that.
“One thing that hasn’t been good with us is our consistency. We’ve not had it in terms of results, even though maybe performances suggested otherwise.
“If we can continue playing like we have and get the desired results to go with it then I’ll be very happy.”
Mngqithi, whose side have won two out of their last three games, highlighted the importance of a good showing against Sundowns.
“A very good performance will help with our league run-in," he said.
“No matter the result, if the performance is at the level that I want, then we’ll come back to the league with our heads held high.”
Nedbank Cup weekend fixtures:
Friday: Mamelodi Sundowns v Golden Arrows (Loftus Versfeld)
Saturday: Jomo Cosmos v United FC (Makhulong Stadium), Free State Stars v Bloem Celtic (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Kaizer Chiefs v Polokwane City (Moses Mabhida Stadium)
Sunday: African Warriors v Maluti FET College (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Tembu Royals v Maritzburg United (Mthatha Stadium)