Pretoria – Newly-appointed SuperSport United coach Gordon Igesund believes he has enough quality players at his disposal to steer them out of the relegation zone and contend for Premiership honours.
“Our priority is to take SuperSport from where they are and into the top half of the table,” Igesund said in Pretoria on Thursday.
“I've told the players that we'll see where we are at the half way mark of the season. If we can get to four or five points off the pace, then we can really challenge. At this point, we need to get away from where we are and climb up the table.”
Igesund, who was unveiled as United's coach on Wednesday, said the offer to take over the reins caught him off guard but he had little hesitation in accepting the post.
“When SuperSport came up with the offer, it wasn't a very difficult to make a decision. I was told about the deal on Monday and by the next day I had already signed.
“I had two other offers on the table but I chose this one because I felt it was the best choice.”
The former Bafana Bafana coach takes over from Cavin Johnson, who was fired after a string of poor results to the start of the club's campaign. Matsatsantsa were lying in 14th place on the league table and were also dumped out of the MTN8 tournament, losing 2-1 to Pirates at the start of the season..
Igesund said he was aware of the lofty ambitions at club management level and understood he had been hired to turn things around.
“As football coaches, we have pressure in our jobs every day ... you can't tell a professional coach what is expected of me. I don't need to be told that.
“What is expected is to try to and win games and maybe collect a trophy.”
The 58 year-old mentor did not intend to make wholesale changes to the squad, but only planned to instil his philosophy onto the players, he said.
“I don't plan to come in and buy twenty players. The club has a great development programme in place. I've worked with at least 12 of the current squad so I am happy to work with the players we've got right now.”
The coach, whose last club stint was with Moroka Swallows in 2012, said he was thrilled to get back into the rigorous daily routine of working with the players and was relishing the prospect of weekly matches in the Premiership.
“I love knowing when I wake up that I am going to be working with players on the training grounds for two hours. That's what I love doing.”
Life as a national team coach tended to be quieter in between games, as far as interaction with players was concerned, as the squad only assembled during international playing periods or for the preceding training camps.
“I missed that when I was in the national team. At the national team you sit at the office and go and watch games to analyse players. It's great feeling to be back in this kind of setup.”
Igesund remained the only coach in South African football to have guided four different clubs to Premiership honours – winning the league with Manning Rangers in the 1996/1997 season, Orlando Pirates (2000/2001), Santos (2001/2002) and Mamelodi Sundowns (2006/2007). – Sapa