We performed better than last season – Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena is of the opinion that even though they were knocked out of the CAF Champions League quarter-finals, they have had a better season compared to last year.

Sundowns clinched their fifth consecutive PSL title with about five matches to go, but they are still going to perform to the best of their ability in the remaining two matches.

Mokwena said they are aware of a threat that Stellenbosch FC pose when they welcome them at the Absa Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Saturday.

“It would have been perfect to be handed the trophy in front of our supporters, to thank them for the love in good and in bad moments when they were singing and chanting for us after games.

“It was an opportunity to create a good ambience to reflect the type of season we had and to celebrate in that kind of atmosphere. The venue is compact in size and we hope and encourage our fans to come in their numbers and to give us support.

“We want to spend our last home game with the supporters and celebrate with them the Sundowns way,” said Mokwena.

He explained further: “Stellenbosch have a very good technical team, they have a very experienced coach in Steve Barker who knows how to work with a budget. He’s done that with AmaTuks and he has helped produce players like Mthokozisi Yende, Andile Jali and you can name so many of them who went to bigger clubs and also had a good run in the PSL.

“So, I don’t see why Steve cannot maintain the profile of the team. They look like a well-run organisation and have the best facilities. I have seen the High Performance Centre in Stellenbosch and they tick all the boxes.”

Mokwena said even though they were disappointed at bombing out of the CAF Champions League, they achieved better this term overall.

“We have evolved quite a bit. People may not see it with a naked eye, but we developed technically. We have won the MTN8 after it eluded us for a very long time. We secured the league title with about five matches to go. We are in the finals of the Nedbank Cup final.

“Last season, I think we were knocked out in the semi-finals. We are about to win the treble and not many teams have been able to get the treble. In CAF, we did not lose a single game in the group stages, we are also able to score an away goal in Cairo and beat Al Ahly in Egypt for the first time. The players as well have improved tremendously.

“In the PSL, we have scored more goals and conceded less compared to last year. So, we look back to this season with respect and admiration because of the collective contribution of everybody’s commitment and hard work.”

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