Manqoba Mngqithi, the coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, is been impressed by how quickly attacking midfielder Neo Maema has assimilated into life at Chloorkop.
Maema, who joined Sundowns from Bloemfontein Celtic during the off-season, has emerged as one of the season's most surprising discoveries thus far.
Maema has made 11 appearances for Sundowns in all competitions, scoring two goals and providing four assists in the process. However, he was unavailable for their most recent match against Stellenbosch, in which Mngqithi stated that he was missed.
Because he is a very vital player for our club, we would say that we missed him now that we have not won a match [the 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch].
The boys who were given an opportunity, on the other hand, performed admirably, and I would not want to take anything away from them." The fact of the matter is that he has adapted well to his new surroundings and has provided us with a significant number of assists and goals.
He was unfortunate to sustain an injury, which made it difficult to include him in the team's encounter against Stellenbosch.
During this busy period, Sundowns will play five matches in the next 13 days, before the Christmas break, and Mngqithi believes their depth will be challenged.
There is nothing unusual in terms of the games that we are going to play, in my opinion. We need a lot of depth in our squad because the games are coming thick and fast. It will be difficult for everyone.
"Teams are dealing with health concerns, and there are a variety of other factors that are keeping players out of action. If it's difficult for Sundowns, it must be even more difficult for the other teams, because at least we have some depth in our roster."
We have some really significant and hard matches coming up in this cycle, but they are also matches you want to play so that you can get rid of the rest of your fixtures."
The team is not complaining, and they are looking forward to ensuring that in the final two fixtures of this cycle they do their best to accomplish the required results.
Sundowns return to action against high-flying Royal AM at Loftus on Wednesday, where Mngqithi will be hoping that Maema is eligible for selection after the team dropped two points against Stellenbosch.
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