Deserved rest for new table toppers


The high-flying Abafana Bes’thende went to the top of the log yesterday courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Moroka Swallows at Rustenburg’s Olympia Stadium and as per basic match preparation, will resume training tomorrow.

“Yes, they are off today,” Golden Arrows’ coach Manqoba Mngqithi confirms.

“It was not an easy result to get, but we could have scored more. But it was also too hot.”

Mngqithi also agrees with the one-week-long “holiday” – thanks to a Fifa date on Wednesday - will be very beneficial for those overexerted bodies.

“We are from a long, hectic schedule, so yes; it will be good for recovery”.

After being shamed 3-1 by Ajax Cape Town the previous weekend when they were already being touted as potential Telkom Knockout Cup champions, the Kwa-Zulu Natal outfit bounced back impressively by crushing the Capetonians 4-0 in the League last Wednesday.

They went into the Swallows’ game full of motivation.

“Obviously, the team is very motivated”, ‘Mr Confidence’ says.

“The players understand there will be a lot of pressure on them, so we have to work hard to keep up the rhythm and momentum. Obviously, it is not easy. As the coach, it is my responsibility to motivate them and keep them upbeat.”

Having confidence – and a good plan - is very important in soccer and things are looking good for the youngish and ambitious coach and his charges.

“So far, so good I must say,” Mngqithi states boldly. “We are still on track with the plan we had at the beginning of the season, unfortunately we bombed out of the Telkom Cup. We never had a target to be number one, what we have six cycles of five games a cycle. We must get 10 points from one such five-game cycle and we got nine in the first cycle.”

Yes Arrows are on a hot streak at the moment, but the first half has just gone over the half-way mark. And as they say, the League is a marathon not a sprint.

Mngqithi is adamant there won’t be any embarrassing collapse before the finishing line.

“We have got a specialist in Eduardo Parreira who has worked in Brazil, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to help us sustain our conditioning levels throughout; we won’t have such a problem. But we are taking one game at a time.”

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