Mokwena anticipates tough Richards Bay match in Nedbank Cup

The 2023 edition of the Nedbank Cup is set to get under way on Tuesday evening, as reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns prepare for a tough fixture when they welcome Richards Bay at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has welcomed the fixture against the KwaZulu Natal-based outfit, saying that he is anticipating a tough fixture ahead.

“Richards Bay are a good opponent, fortunately we just recently played them, and we also got an opportunity to watch them against AmaZulu,” said Mokwena during a Nedbank Cup press conference.

“We also got some time the last two games to some homework. The most recent encounter against Swallows FC and the most recent game against SuperSport United and Marumo Gallants.

“So, very interesting team, of course very well coached and with some very good players and its going to be a very difficult game for us for sure.”

Despite the high praises from the Natal Rich Boys co-coach Vasili Manousakis, Mokwena emphasized that his side is not unstoppable but rather a difficult team to play against.

“Unstoppable, no, not a chance. We are just a difficult to play against, we want to always be a difficult to play against. We try respect every opponent and work very hard to give ourselves a chance to win a match.”

With the treble already out of reach this season after failing to retain the MTN 8 cup, Mokwena said he does not have any expectations for his players to be under pressure to defend the Nedbank Cup.

“The reality of football is that you lose more than you win. That’s why I always say that not enough praise is given to this group of players to do what they do every single day, because it becomes an expectation, an unfair expectation that this group of players must win every match.

“So, when we did not defend the MTN 8 it was because that is how football is, you can’t win everything, you try to for sure because that is what you aim for when you have the obligation and have the expectations and have a club that aims for that level of dominance and success, but you don’t have that God given right.”

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