Gaston Sirino's actions were inappropriate, says Mamelodi Sundowns boss Manqoba Mngqithi
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CAPE TOWN - If Mamelodi Sundowns’ task was not hard enough this coming Saturday in their bid to overturn a 2-0 deficit in their second-leg CAF Champions League quarter-final clash against Al Ahly, coach Manqoba Mngqithi still needs to deal with star player Gaston Sirino’s love for the Egyptian giants.
Sundowns’ Uruguayan attacker has made his feelings abundantly clear after earlier being linked with a move to the Red Devils, stating prior to the first leg in Cairo.
“It’s always good that a big team like Al Ahly is interested in me. I’m very focused on keeping playing well to appear and then we’ll see what happens,” Sirino told 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.”
Sirino, though, further incensed the Sundowns faithful after the first-leg at the Al Salam Stadium last Saturday when he left the ground wearing an Ah Ahly jersey.
Mngqithi, at a press conference on Thursday ahead of the second leg, said: “I would prefer not to comment on that. I don’t think it is appropriate to do that, but it is something I don’t want to dwell on.
“I want to focus on winning the match, instead of other negative things. I can say something negative about the same player and on Saturday he wins the match for us.”
Mngqithi will be hoping that Sirino can play an influential role in the midfield in a bid to help the former champions repeat their 2019 heroics when they crushed Al Ahly 5-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
"If we minimise our mistakes, I believe we can get the results that we want, although I know it will be a tall order," Mngqithi said
"We are confident in the group that we have. I was even telling them yesterday that if anyone has the capacity to come back from this position, it is Sundowns.
"Out of all the teams we have in the country who can overcome a 2-0 deficit, it's Sundowns. I strongly believe that because we have done it before."