Rhulani’s not afraid to walk plank 

Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena has boldly stated that he does not fear losing his job at the helm of the Buccaneers, describing his 10-week stint as coach as “educational”.

“I fear absolutely nothing. Even the players know it,” Mokwena said as he resorted to his spiritual side, borrowing from the Lord’s Prayer. “Even if I walk through the shadow of death I [will] fear no evil.

“We make it too much about the coach in this country. Sometimes it’s not about the coach.

“We’re fighting to maintain our status as a big club. In doing so we can’t compromise results. We can sacrifice identity but not the results. You saw against Highlands Park, we had to get the results no matter how we played.”

With only 12 points from a possible 24 in the nine games played so far in the Absa Premiership, Mokwena also said he was undergoing an educational phase, as coaching one of the biggest clubs in the country has been a challenge, and he did not expect the ship to sail smoothly.

He conceded: “It’s been educational but extremely challenging. I didn’t expect it to be easy.

And with the support I receive I’ve been able to soldier on.”

The inconsistency Pirates has shown since the beginning of the Premiership campaign, with three wins and as many losses and draws, leaves them 10 points adrift of early pacesetters Kaizer Chiefs.

On Tuesday away to Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa‚ Pirates scraped through to earn a late 1-0 win through a controversial goal.

The win left the Sea Robbers eighth in the standings.

“We need to be consistent with the results. One thing we don’t do is to complain about injuries. We have a number of players injured.
If I have to list them all, I can go on the whole day. [Fortunately] we have a big squad. Another factor is that we lost 15 players last season, 10 came in. I’m learning.”

Mokwena, 34, took a leaf from Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela’s book, intimating that a new coach at any club (around the world) has to undergo four different phases to try to find consistency and results.

“You are in a cycle of four stages. You move from being strong – we finished second last season – to another phase of introducing the new players and you can’t skip any of the stages until things normalise and the team is in the right frame of mind.

“When Jurgen Klopp started at Liverpool things were not going his way. He survived despite results not coming.

“Look at [David] Moyes, [Louis] Van Gaal and [Jose] Mourinho, and now Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] at Manchester United, they all had to tweak and change until they got things right.”

Some Pirates fans have expressed their frustrations as the Buccaneers have not strung successive league wins together as the Soweto giants tactician explained that he is not feeling the pressure.

By Xolile Mtshazo

Latest News