Rulani hails Downs' fighting spirit against 'aggressive' Royal AM

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena was pleased with the side's response in the second half after he told the players not to allow Royal AM to bully them. 

Sundowns defeated Royal AM 3-0 on Saturday evening to move six points clear at the top of the DStv Premiership table.

Read: Sundowns move six points clear with Royal AM scalp

"Well firstly let's congratulate Mamelodi Sundowns, the football club in it's entirety, from senior management, the technical team, the coaches," Mokwena said on SuperSport.

"And of course huge plaudits for this incredible group of football players and congratulations of course ja like you mentioned to Cassius for Man of the Match (award), well deserved.

"I think you guys had a very difficult job to do because on both sides of the pitch for the first 70 minutes or so there were a lot of very good performances on the pitch but I thought our group was better, our players showed grit and fight and we played an away match like we were supposed to."

Mokwena says he had to tell his charges to toughen up at halftime, as they went on to score two late goals.

"Yeah, they were very aggressive and I said to the boys, 'Don't let them bully you' because they know we're very good on the ball, we're very technical and we're patient to try open things up," he added.

"But in the 50/50s they were extremely aggressive and sometimes we allowed that aggression that came to force us into rushed passes and instead of being press resistant and a little stronger.

"And so in the second half we were a little bit better, we controlled the possession a bit more, we controlled both boxes a little bit and dominated the pitch a little bit more, because we were not afraid of the physicality.

"But a good fight and hats off once more to Mamelodi Sundowns, particularly the players."

Mokwena went on to say that they will shift their focus to the Carling Black Label Cup tournament before starting preparations for the return of competitive action at the end of December.

"But first it's Carling Black Label, it's an opportunity to win a trophy, we want to win a trophy, we want to focus now on the next one and before we start thinking about the break we have the next one to think of."

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