Sundowns coach did not like his team's ‘personality’ against Pirates

football18 February 2024 06:29| © Mzansi Football

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena said he did not like the “personality” of his side as they went pound-for-pound in a tough physical battle against Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership on Saturday night.

Sundowns were held 1-1 by a 10-man Pirates who came back after conceding to Marcelo Allende in the 76thminute to equalise through Tapelo Xoki’s penalty four minutes later.

“I didn't like the 90 minutes. I think for game of football, you need three good teams. And I think there were three teams that were below par today. Of course, one of them being mine,” said Mokwena afterwards.

“And when my team is not playing well, and hasn't played well, I am the first of course that needs to be accountable for that. I don't think that was a good game of football. In my opinion. I think far too many off-the-ball incidents … far too many. Elbows and … yeah.

“And I don't think the referee had control of the game either. But, I don't talk about referees so the least I say the better. But it was not a game of football that I like it all.”


Mokwena was also not impressed with the debuts of new signings Thembinkosi Lorch and Matias Esquivel.

“We can all do better, starting with the coach. And, of course, even with the new signings, they can do better. It's difficult. I know, and I understand. Of course, also with Lorch, the pressure, the chatter, playing against his former club, and all the other things also didn't help.

"Matias still needs to adapt to the league, the intensity and the way we want to play. So that's difficult for him. And also the language doesn't make it even easier.

“But, we can all get better, and we can all improve in and the first person to improve his me. That's, that's No 1. I don't criticise my players in public, I will never do that. But I can say to you holistically and, starting again as I say with the coach, I'm very self-critical and I'm not happy with my work. I'm very, very unhappy with the personality of the team today and maybe it's my energy. I have to look at myself first in the mirror, maybe I'm not doing enough to motivate the players. I'm not doing enough in training to prepare the players, so I've got to start there,” the Sundowns boss added.