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Mngqithi reveals plans for Downs’ Egypt Caf trip

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has explained why the club opted to take a bigger squad and stay for longer for their Caf Champions League assignment in Egypt.

Masandawana will play Sudanese giants Al-Merrikh at Al Salam Stadium in Egypt this coming Saturday before playing reigning Africa Champions Al Ahly on Friday 25 February in the same country.

The club is set to jet out of the country on Tuesday morning and will set up a two-week training base in the North African Country.

“We will take a substantial number of players considering that we are playing two matches. Normally we take 25 players for one match but this time around we will take a little more because we know there are covid issues,” said Mngqithi after the 1-1 draw in the DStv Premiership clash against Baroka on Monday night.

There is also the fact that we are playing two matches and some players are not very ready to play the first, maybe they will be ready to play the second one. So, it’s one of those where we have to take as much as we can. Better stay than travel in and out. If maybe Egypt Air was operating on the days where we would have loved to travel maybe we would consider going and coming back and going and coming back because we would be having direct flights there.

“But now we don’t have direct flights because Egypt air fly on very few days and unfortunately on the days that we are targeting to go to Egypt we, unfortunately, have a situation where we don’t have Egypt air and we have to look at these other airlines which makes the travelling very long because it has got a stop somewhere and continue so I think a stay in Egypt is the best option,” he said.

‘’We looked at it with the coaches and everybody else involved in the club and we all feel we might end up having a lot of travel fatigue if we were to travel in and out when we are still expected to go back the following week. So, we will be finding ourselves a very good camping place so that we can have a proper training programme on that side.”

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