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Mokwena on what Sundowns are doing to help Shalulile surpass Mbesuma’s record

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Now that the champagne is one ice waiting to be popped on May 21 when Mamelodi Sundowns will be handed their DStv Premiership title in KwaZulu-Natal post their last game against Royal AM, there is not much left to play for Downs expect for making sure that they win all of their games to surpass last season’s tally of 67 points.

The elephant in the room, however, is the goal scoring record that Peter Shalulile is chasing as he has banged in 21 league goals and is four short of equaling Collins Mbesuma’s tally of 25 set some 17 years ago. Shalulile’s coach, Rhulani Mokwena suggested that the team are willing to help the Namibian score more goals in the last four games left, as he will become only the second player – after Mbesuma – to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot twice.

READ ALSO: Mokwena wants to avoid ‘farmer’s league’ as Sundowns wrap up title again

Before Shalulile went rampant in front of goal, he a dry spell for a while and the coaches had to restructure their front line to help him get back to scoring way, and that paid off, looking at his goals and assists return as he is the only player to have netted a hatrick so far this season.

“We will try to do it but we don’t just do it for Peter, we do it for Andile Jali, Themba Zwane and everyone else, that is why it is a team sport. We try to find the best way to put together the quality of the players in a way that will benefit the team and not only just the individuals and that’s our perspective,” said Mokwena.

“One of the reasons why we went for a 4-4-2, playing him wide on either side is because there was a time where he was struggling to score. We needed to find a system that could help him a bit more and eased the pressure on him. One of the reasons why we decided to put him on the side is because he has very little responsibility.”

He added: “Ever since he went wide he has had fewer offsides. When he was playing in the centre, defenders would make some movement before we played the ball to him and he would be caught offside. All he has to do now is just look at the linesman and look at the last defender and this made the timing of his movements a lot easier.

Now that the champagne is one ice waiting to be popped on May 21 when Mamelodi Sundowns will be handed their DStv Premiership title in KwaZulu-Natal post their last game against Royal AM, there is not much left to play for Downs expect for making sure that they win all of their games to surpass last season’s tally of 67 points.

The elephant in the room, however, is the goal scoring record that Peter Shalulile is chasing as he has banged in 21 league goals and is four short of equaling Collins Mbesuma’s tally of 25 set some 17 years ago. Shalulile’s coach, Rhulani Mokwena suggested that the team are willing to help the Namibian score more goals in the last four games left, as he will become only the second player – after Mbesuma – to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot twice.

Before Shalulile went rampant in front of goal, he a dry spell for a while and the coaches had to restructure their front line to help him get back to scoring way, and that paid off, looking at his goals and assists return as he is the only player to have netted a hatrick so far this season.

“We will try to do it but we don’t just do it for Peter, we do it for Andile Jali, Themba Zwane and everyone else, that is why it is a team sport. We try to find the best way to put together the quality of the players in a way that will benefit the team and not only just the individuals and that’s our perspective,” said Mokwena.

“One of the reasons why we went for a 4-4-2, playing him wide on either side is because there was a time where he was struggling to score. We needed to find a system that could help him a bit more and eased the pressure on him. One of the reasons why we decided to put him on the side is because he has very little responsibility.”

He added: “Ever since he went wide he has had fewer offsides. When he was playing in the centre, defenders would make some movement before we played the ball to him and he would be caught offside. All he has to do now is just look at the linesman and look at the last defender and this made the timing of his movements a lot easier. That small tweka helped him and then after that he started scoring goals after five games without a goal.”  

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