Still a lot of work to be done for Downs
Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach Johan Neeskens believes his soccer side still has a long way to go in rebuilding their season after suffering a dismal run of form in their opening 10 fixtures.
Neeskens was speaking at the Telkom Knockout second-round draw in Pretoria, when his team were handed an away tie against AmaZulu.
“You don’t turn things around based on one result,” Neeskens said after Sundowns’ 1-0 win over the University of Pretoria (AmaTuks) before the draw took place.
“In the two-week break before the knockout game, we worked very well with the team, the team did very well and everybody responded.
“I saw a lot of positives and I was hoping to see what we did in training on the pitch against Tuks and I did.”
Sundowns was the eighth and final side to go into the quarterfinal stage with their win over AmaTuks.
The Brazilians’ 1-0 cup victory was only their third victory in all competitions so far this season, with their last win against Chippa United in a Premiership encounter in August.
“In big parts of the game again we saw the way we played last year, we controlled the game, we had good ball circulation and we created big chances,” Neeskens said.
“As long as we keep creating those chances I think it is not a problem, so I am happy with the overall performance of the team.
“It’s always important to win. In other games, we weren’t that lucky, but I think tonight the team concentrated well.”
Neeskens claimed responsibility for the team’s lack of form and said it would have to be a joint effort from the entire staff at the club to get back to winning ways.
“Not only the players are to blame. I am also to blame,” he said.
“We are a team. I must compliment the players and the way they won.
“It is not easy, because they are also under pressure and the way they performed tonight, I think that is a big compliment for them.”
In the other second-round ties, defending champions Orlando Pirates will travel to Bloemfontein Celtic.
Bidvest Wits were again handed a home draw as they meet Free State Stars, and Maritzburg will host SuperSport United.
The dates and venues for the quarterfinals are yet to be confirmed.