MANQOBA Mngqithi puts it aptly when he says: “To be honest‚ for a team like Mamelodi Sundowns, it is unacceptable not to win these cup competitions.”

With the depth and quality in their ranks, the star-studded Sundowns should be averaging a trophy or two in a season.

Apart from back-to-back league titles, the Tshwane giants haven’t picked up knockout cup silverware in four years.

They have been pre-occupied with their crusade continental recognition that they neglected some of their domestic obligations.

But there can be no greater motivation and no better time for the Brazilians to add another TKO title to their array of trophies this decade.

Besides, winning the knockout cup will shoot their confidence levels sky high as they battle on three fronts, looking to defend their Premiership title and go beyond the group stage in the Caf Champions League.

Their cup finals record shows they are seldom “in it not to win it”, even though their last knockout trophy came in the form of the very say TKO silverware.

Despite their sluggish start to the season, Masandawana have slowly been picking up momentum and with the return of key cogs – Denis Onyango, Mosa Lebusa, Hlompho Kekana, Andile Jali and Gaston Sirino, should prove a handful for Maritzburg United.

“We have won the Telkom Knockout only once, but if you look at the number of years we have been here‚ you will say we deserve to have won the tournament maybe twice or thrice,” said Mngqithi, the Downs assistant coach.