Rhulani Mokwena is focusing on the positive at Orlando Pirates. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Rhulani Mokwena is focusing on the positive at Orlando Pirates. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Mokwena denies that Pirates are in crisis

By minenhle mkhize Time of article published Oct 29, 2019

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Orlando Pirates are enduring a rotten domestic season but head coach at Rhulani Mokwena is confident that the sun will soon shine on his side.

The Sea Robbers suffered another defeat this past weekend, a 1-0 loss to Stellenbosch FC in an Absa Premiership showdown.

The pressure is mounting for Mokwena who took over following the sudden departure of Milutin Sredojevic. But he remains nonchalant.

“No, we are not in a crisis. For me, it is reflection of time. When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool, it was a similar scenario. Scoring goals, conceding and being inconsistent but three seasons later they are champions of Europe. They are a well-oiled machine,” Mokwena explained.

Pirates have not won any recognised silverware in five years. Under Mokwena’s regime they have missed out on the MTN8 and the CAF Champions League and are currently 13 points behind pace-setters and bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs nine matches into the league season.

“When Pep Guardiola started at Barca, he came from Barca B side. What happened to Pep Guardiola? He was losing games. Now he is the best coach in the world. It was the same thing with Jose Mourinho. Some of the top coaches in the world. Pitso Mosimane also faced the same situation and I was at Sundowns at that time. His start at Sundowns was never the easiest. I never expected it to be easy. I expect it to be difficult. I know the challenges that we face,” he added.

The Buccaneers are playing eye-catching football but they lack the cutting edge in front of goal.

“I know the quality we have and I also have the backing of the club and the chairman (Irvin Khoza). I sit in a situation where I have to give my best and try and improve the situation,” Mokwena elaborated.

Pirates face Highlands Park tonight in the league before they take on Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

“I’ve got Highlands Park on Tuesday. That’s the most important game not Kaizer Chiefs. My focus is not on Kaizer Chiefs. We saw them against Sundowns. They are a running team. They are very good at dead ball situations. They are difficult team with good players."


The Mercury

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