A long-faced Manqoba Mngqithi has subtly expressed his dissatisfaction regarding the controversial Gaston Sirino picture which has been making rounds on social media following the first leg Caf Champions League quarterfinal clash between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly last Saturday in Cairo..
Sirino, who was an Ahly target during the off-season, was seen wearing the Cairo giants’ jersey immediately after Sundowns’ suffered a 2-0 defeat in Egypt.
Mngqithi was not thrilled with the Uruguayan midfielder’s actions and if his public comments are anything to go by, there could be internal strife between the club and the 30-year-old star.
“I would prefer not to comment on that one because I think it is outside the perimeters of what I would have appreciated to talk about but I don’t think it was appropriate for him to do that but it is something I would not really want to dwell pretty much on at this stage,” said Mngqithi.
“I want to focus more on winning the match instead of focusing on all the other negative things that might affect us in winning the match but with the same player, I can say something negative about him now and come Saturday he makes us win the match.”
Al Ahly were heavily interested in bringing Sirino to Egypt but the move collapsed reportedly due to Sundowns’ high asking price.
Sirino has not hidden his admiration for Pitso Mosimane and his keenness to work with him once again.
“It’s always good that a big team like Al Ahly to be interested in me. I’m very focused on keep playing well to appear and then we’ll see what happens,” said Sirino as quoted by Sky News Arabia.
“I want to thank the Al Ahly fans for their love. It would be a great challenge if I could someday wear this shirt.”
Meanwhile, Mngqithi believes Sundowns can still overturn the 2-0 deficit at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday in the return leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. “We have our confidence in the group of players that we have and I was even telling them yesterday [Wednesday] that if there is anyone that has the capacity to come back in this match, it’s Sundowns,” he said.
“I told them even if you were to ask me three times, I would not hesitate to say, out of all the teams in the country, I would not hesitate to say ‘overcome a 2-0 deficit’ it’s Sundowns. I strongly believe but it’s not going to be easy considering that we have to be ultra-offensive but we have to guard against counter-attacks. We are playing against an astute coach who can play very quiet to make sure he utilises the space behind our defense.
“So we must be on top of our game in our defence, we must be on top of our game in our counter-pressing, we must try to minimise our mistakes to receive the outcome that we want,” concluded the Tshwane giants coach.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi