- Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has praised the performances of Gift Motupa following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
- The 26-year-old was on the scoresheet for the Brazilians on Wednesday as they claimed a 2-0 win over Maritzburg United.
- Sundowns are back in action on Sunday against TS Galaxy.
After months on the sidelines to nurture an ankle injury and improve his fitness, Gift Motupa is slowly forcing his way into the Mamelodi Sundowns starting eleven.
Motupa came off the bench to help steer the Brazilians to a 3-0 win over Bucs on Sunday and then on Wednesday scored midway through the second half to ensure log leaders Sundowns earn three points against Maritzburg United in a 2-0 win.
Speaking to the media after the victory, Sundowns' co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi praised the resilient and hard-working Motupa for losing weight and trusting the process.
"We made him understand what is expected of him; we made him understand himself because at times players don't even know their full potential," Mngqithi said after their side moved four points ahead of second place AmaZulu.
"We've always been drilling it in his mind because of the capacity that he has. There were many naysayers about Motupa coming here.
"I'm sure now they can understand why we bought him because we had to work on his ankle; that is the reason that kept him out for long.
"But the other thing, you are very right, he always carried an extra four or five kgs."
Mngqithi added: "We made it a point that we tell him that he loses and gets into the right BMI (Body Mass Index) and get ready to help us because our game will demand a lot of speed and in the past, he would pull hamstrings because he was always carrying a little bit more (weight).
"He responded very well, in a very professional way. He started to improve his diet. He looked very good even during rehab. That is why he is now we are benefitting from that.
"I still believe he still has another assignment to work a little bit more on his strength to make sure that he can help us in bustling African defenders.
"Maybe he can be a lot be a lot more explosive. I believe there is a lot we can benefit from him. He's got a lot to give to Sundowns."
The Brazilians are back in action on Sunday, 9 May against TS Galaxy.