Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena believes Bongani Zungu has the quality coupled with the vast experience needed to excel in the new hybrid centre-back midfield role he played in their 3-0 win over AmaZulu on Tuesday. 
Downs achieved a historic 40th consecutive win on Tuesday thanks to a second-half hat-trick from Brazilian winger Lucas Ribeiro.
The result increased Sundowns lead at the summit to 12 points with a game in hand.
Zungu (31) played a significant role in the game, specifically asked to sit as a deep-lying playmaker in a centre-back role.
Although he was flanked by Grant Kekana and Divine Lunga in a three man defence, Zungu was on many occasions surging forward with the ball, breaking AmaZulu’s counter pressing.
Zungu’s incisiveness led to a wonderful assist for Ribeiro’s third goal.
“You know sometimes we think things (highlighting the new role) but first you need the capacity from the player and Bongz has it from a technical, tactical, he’s a big boy, very experienced, tactically very clued up, he knows when to step in or fill in.
“And then also he believes in the coach, it’s important, sometimes you can come up with the best ideas, and maybe the worst ideas, but players can make them the best idea. And they could be absolute hogwash but the player believes in you so much that they follow blindly and with their technique and ability, make it look good,” Rulani told the media.

Rulani says that Zungu’s experience and quality on the ball make him suited for the role.

“So a lot of credit goes to him, he makes us forget a little bit about Riva, who we have tried a little bit in that position where he’s done exceptionally well.

“Does he have the profile to be able to do certain things, can he come into the next line, can he defend by looking at his own goal? Does he have the poise and comfort? Some players don’t like turning to face his own goal, Bongz has that, for a defender, it’s important, especially if you defend with 40, 50 meters behind you. And he believes in it, brings out the best in him, incredible assist for the third goal.

“In Mauritania, he was in the box twice, he was in the box once [against AmaZulu], he went in from centre-back all the way in, I’m very proud of him, good mentality, good human being that supports the kids and controls the team, doesn’t need the armband to be a leader, seldom you find that. He’s done well but he needs to do a lot more. He knows that, the team knows that,” Rulani added.