There is no crisis at Orlando Pirates so says head coach Rulani Mokwena.
Mokwena was speaking to the media after the Club’s shock 1-0 loss to newly promoted Stellenbosch in Cape Town last night.
“No, no crisis. For me it’s reflection time,” insisted Mokwena following Bucs’ 1-0 defeat to Stellenbosch in Cape Town on Saturday.
“I say to myself when Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool, it was a similar scenario. Scoring goals, being very inconsistent, conceding goals, winning games and then losing again but three seasons later they are Champions of Europe – a well oiled machine,” Mokwena argued.
“Pep Guardiola, when he started at Barca, he came from Barca-B and he came to the first team of Barca, what happened to Pep? Guardiola was losing games… and now he is the best coach in the world.
“(Jose) Mourinho same thing, some of the top coaches in the world. Pitso Mosimane same story. I was at Mamelodi Sundowns at that time, and
Pitso Mosimane’s start at Sundowns (in 2012) was not the easiest,” he continued.
Mokwena also admitted that coaching a team like Pirates comes with a lot of pressure and hard work, and that he never expected to hit the ground running at the Buccaneers, but says he knows his supports structure.
“I never expected it to be easy – I expected it to be difficult. I know the challenges that we face. I know the quality that the team has, I know also that I’ve got the backing and the support of the club and the chairman (Irvin Khoza). So I sit in a situation where I just try to give the best that I can and try improve the situation and that’s it,” he said.
Pirates have won just two of their nine matches with Mokwena on the driver’s seat, but the former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach believes they would turn the corner sooner rather than later.
“We are trying to improve our overall perfomance, we try to win every match at Pirates and that is a responsibility,” he said.
“We are knocking on the door, but the door will open, it has to open. I don’t know when, I don’t know which game, but it will open.
“We will win games. We’ve got enough quality within the squad, we’ve got enough quality within the technical team. We believe in the players, and of couse we make mistakes and we made a couple (against Stellenbosch) and sometimes you make mistakes that particularly when you are in position that is difficult to recover.
“But isn’t that why we learn? Even I make mistakes, and am not afraid to make mistakes – I’m still gonna make a lot of mistakes. And I take full responsibility as the leader of the team – I don’t shy away from that.
“If anyone is to blame, that’s me. I will learn from it, and am prepared to do that. I’m prepared to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.”
By Shane Matsoyane