Kaizer Chiefs caretaker-coach Patrick Mabedi has the greatest respect for Muhsin Ertugral, the man he regards as a mentor and one of the biggest influences on his career as a player and a coach.
But, on Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium, Mabedi was in charge of the Chiefs side that defeated Ertugral’s Ajax Cape Town 2-1 and condemned the Capetonians to a spot in the promotion play-offs.
Afterwards, Mabedi was in no mood to celebrate. In fact, he had the media chuckling with his use of a rather apt metaphor to describe how he was feeling.
“I learnt a lot from him (Ertugral) and it was a privilege to come up against him (today),” said Mabedi. “But it was a bit like being a policeman and being asked to arrest a relative – and what can you do, you have to do the job.”
Mabedi admitted that Chiefs never had it easy against a motivated Ajax side, and he had to constantly be aware of Ertugral’s tactical decisions.
It wasn’t an easy game,” said the Soweto club’s caretaker-coach. “Ajax have a good coach and we knew that they would fight for their lives. We prepared well, we expected a fight, but we managed to get the three points we were looking for.
“I know how Muhsin can analyse a game, and he did, but his players didn’t respond; they needed to execute.
“We wish them well in the play-offs, they don’t deserve to be where they are. They have good players and a good coach.”
Mabedi said he had no idea who would be the next Chiefs coach. Asked if he was interested in the job, he said: “I was the assistant, and I have been the interim coach for the last few games. I wanted to finish the task I was assigned to do, and after that, what happens, happens. My objective was to finish well and I think I did that. Of course, I would be interested, I’ve been doing it for the last few games..."