JOHANNESBURG – Four months after guiding Free State Stars to an incredible sixth place finish in the Absa Premiership and winning the club's first trophy in 24 years, coach Luc Eymael finds himself fighting to keep his job.
“I have not suddenly become a bad coach overnight,” the Belgian mentor hit back following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday night. It was Ea Lla Koto’s fifth loss in seven matches from all competitions so far this season, which includes their MTN8 elimination by the same Amakhosi outfit last month. Eymael now has to try lift them out of the early relegation scare.
“I have the balls to keep going until the end, you know me,” he continued. “A coach knows what can happen when results are not coming. I am the first coach to bring a trophy here for the first time in 24 years.
"I know this is part of the life of a coach, but I will never give up. I will try until the end. This is also not good for my health because I am working very hard and that worries me. I am trying to find solutions, but it is so far not working.”
Eymael said they were creating chances and were simply unfortunate to be dropping points at such an alarming rate. “Chiefs had two shots in the first half and scored two goals, but nothing in the second half because my goalkeeper didn’t make a single save. We pushed until the end,” he explained.
“The role of the coach is to give instructions, but the decision making rests with the players. Last season we didn’t create a lot of chances, but we scored goals. We are working on this every day, we will see. We have only collected four points from a possible 18. That is very bad, but I am still working hard.”
Stars, who are second from bottom of the table, host Highlands Park on Saturday. Two Absa Premiership matches take place on Wednesday evening, with Lamontville Golden Arrows hosting Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City visiting Orlando Pirates.