Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi impressed by Neo Maema

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Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi impressed by Neo Maema
© Provided by Times Live

Maema, who joined Sundowns during the off-season from Bloemfontein Celtic, has been one of the revelations of the season.

Maema has made 11 appearances for Sundowns in all competitions with a return of two goals and four assists, but was unavailable for their last match against Stellenbosch where Mngqithi said he was missed.

“Now that we have not won a match [the 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch], we would say we missed him, because he is a very important player for our team.

“But the boys who were given a chance also did well and I would not want to take anything away from them. The truth of the matter is he has settled in well and has given us a lot of assists and goals.

“It was unfortunate for him to get an injury which made it difficult for to play him in the match against Stellenbosch.”

Sundowns have five matches in the next 13 days before the Christmas break and Mngqithi said their depth is going to be tested during this busy period.

“I don’t think there is anything different in terms of the games we are going to play. It is going to be tough for everyone, the games are coming thick and fast and we require a lot of depth.

“Teams are having health issues, there are many other reasons taking players out of action, if it’s tough for Sundowns it must be tougher for the other teams, because at least we have a bit of depth in our squad.

“Matches we are going to play in this cycle are very important and challenging, but at the same time they are matches you want to play so that you can clear your fixtures.

‘We cannot complain, we are looking forward to making sure that in the next two fixtures in this cycle we try to do well and possibly achieve the desired results.”

After dropping two points against Stellenbosch, Sundowns return to action against high-flying Royal AM at Loftus on Wednesday, where Mngqithi will be hoping Maema is available for selection.

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