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[Opinion]Komphela beginning to have his influence on Sundowns?

Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela could have been a little bit on the periphery last season, in his first season with the Brazilians but he could be playing a much bigger role this season.

Komphela hardly does match interviews, since he is technically an assistant coach to co-head coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena but behind the scenes, he could be having much more influence in the decision-making of the team.

Firstly, the signing of former Golden Arrows player Divine Lunga could have been recommended by him, as he coached the Zimbabwean at Arrows before joining Sundowns.

Lunga was not thrown in at the deep end, as the Brazilians waited for a perfect moment to give him a game without much pressure as a starter and that match happened to be against his former side Abafana Bes'thende in the MTN8 semi-final second-leg.

The Zimbabwean left-back impressed so much that he retained his spot against Swallows in the league and was awarded the Man of the Match accolade.

"I think today the first 20 minutes I wasn't confident," he told SuperSport TV after the match, as quoted by Kickoff.

"When the coach told me 'Divine, push yourself', then I started to play better. Then second half I think I played well.

"I'm always working at training. Coach Rhulani and Manqoba telling me that when I control the ball I have to look forward first. So that we can create more chances," he said.

"Every game is a must-win game. We don't care about the wins behind us. In every game we play we treat it like our first game of the season. We always want to collect maximum points and stretch the gap," he added.

Lunga seem to have already grasped the mentality at Sundowns and having a former coach in Komphela helped him settle much quicker. What the Zimbabwean brings more to Sundowns is that he won't only play as left-wing back but can also be utilised as a left-sided centre-back.

Komphela's influence this season could also be traced to Masandawana's tight defence.

After six rounds of matches in the DStv Premiership, Sundowns are not only unbeaten but they are yet concede a goal.

Komphela's philosophy has always been characterised by defensive systems and there could be no denying that the main reason Sundowns are yet to concede, could be the influence of the former Kaizer Chiefs coach, with his ideas bearing fruit in a more fertile environment, where of course he has other two great minds.

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Divine Lunga Komphela Manqoba Steve Komphela Zimbabwean

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