The Masandawana co-coach is confident the team will unite and pull through a tough period, as their hectic pre-Christmas schedule continues
In what is a difficult period for Mamelodi Sundowns, coach Rhulani Mokwena has talked about the spirit which exists within the Tshwane club.
Mokwena was speaking after last season’s treble winners were held to a 1-1 league draw by Golden Arrows at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was the second match for the Brazilians this week, following a 2-0 win over TS Galaxy on Tuesday.
And it comes during a period when the club is mourning the double tragedy of losing two players to road accidents – Anele Ngcongca and Motjeka Madisha, in quick succession. Madisha died in the early hours of last Sunday morning and Ngcongca three weeks prior to that.
And while most of the other Premier Soccer League (PSL) teams will be off for a short Christmas break after this weekend’s action, Sundowns have another game coming up on Tuesday – a Caf Champions League encounter away in Botswana against Galaxy.
“A luta continua (which means, ‘the struggle continues’),” Mokwena commented, in what was a nod to former coach Pitso Mosimane’s often-used phrase.
“It’s the culture within the club, no whinging, no whining,” Mokwena continued in his post-match interview with SuperSport TV.
“We rally behind each other. It gives us an opportunity to unify ourselves and become stronger and just keep going.
“The universe frowns upon giving you something for nothing. So we’re prepared to pay the price and we just keep going.”
The draw keeps Sundowns, who are looking for a fourth consecutive league title, at the top of the standings. They are three points clear of Swallows FC, who play Black Leopards on Sunday.
Mokwena conceded that there will be a certain amount of disappointment at not winning in Durban.
“We came with the objective to win. Of course we didn’t get the result that we wanted. But under the circumstances we take the point and move on,” he said.
“But disappointing that we only get a point, because we are a big team and big teams want to play every single match with the objective of winning games.”