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Sun Apr 20 22:58:07 SAST 2014

Players down in the dumps over slump

MAZOLA MOLEFE | 23 October, 2012 07:150 Comments
Mamelodi Sundowns and University of Pretoria joint press conference in Johannesburg, South Africa
Teko Modise of Sundowns during a Telkom Knockout press conference at PSL Offices on October 22, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

SUNDOWNS have "lost that winning feeling", admitted Teko Modise yesterday.

The inspirational skipper was speaking ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns' Telkom Knockout encounter with neighbours Ama-Tuks at Loftus tonight.

And the opposition mocked Downs' recent slump.

Sundowns began the season brightly, Modise said, but lost momentum along the way.

The side, coached by Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, has yet to win since their August 10 opening PSL game - a narrow 1-0 victory over rookies Chippa United.

"We miss winning. It has been a while since we got that feeling because we have been losing so many games," Modise said.

"We started well [beating Chiefs 4-1 in the MTN8 quarters] and we thought this was going to be one of those seasons where we are on fire.

"I guess we are not really expected to beat Tuks in this cup game, but we somehow have to turn things around."

Modise condemned hooliganism from the club's supporters, who have reacted angrily to poor form.

The fans, who vandalised the Dobsonville stadium after another league loss last month, have been calling for Neeskens to resign.

Three arrests have been made so far.

"I have seen this kind of violence before in my career, while other players at Sundowns might not be familiar with this and it might be scary to them," the former Orlando Pirates midfielder said.

"But I think as players we caused this. We should be held responsible because the coach can only do so much.

"It's up to us on the pitch to fix it and stop making stupid mistakes at the back."

Modise spoke on behalf of the Sundowns players yesterday and reiterated their support for beleaguered Neeskens. The coach was struck with a missile after the defeat to Swallows.

Their last match was also a 1-0 defeat at home to Platinum Stars at the Lucas Moripe stadium. But in this match, the fans resorted only to booing the players. AmaTuks captain Tebogo Monyai said the PSL new boys would add to their rivals' misery tonight.

"We know it's been burning for them and they are under pressure to start winning games. Hopefully we can bring some wood and add to that fire," Monyai said.

The University of Pretoria side only recently surrendered their unbeaten run in the Premier League when they crashed 3-1 to defending champions Pirates at Loftus over three weeks ago.

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