JOHANNESBURG - Kaitano Tembo was modest in victory, wanting only to entertain talk of having achieved something with SuperSport United - for the first time as head coach - when there’s an actual trophy in the club’s cabinet.
Under his guidance, Matsatsantsa scored a narrow 1-0 win on Saturday night to progress to the September 29 cup final of the MTN8 thanks to a 3-2 aggregate score. But Tembo, quite rightly, did not want to blow his own horn until SuperSport have successfully defended their title.
“I am excited for the boys, especially considering where we come from after what happened last season. We struggled and almost being relegated frightened everyone at the club. For us to start the way we have is quite an achievement, but it is important to realise that we haven’t won anything yet,” the coach said.
He was the surprise choice for the vacant head coach post at SuperSport having replaced Eric Tinkler in March, and stood in the interim between then and the end of the previous campaign in May.
However, with results still not forthcoming and Matsatsantsa needing a win on the final day of the season to secure their top-flight status, it was thought Tembo would be overlooked for the unoccupied hot seat. He was instead given a two-year contract - and so far so good.
“This (the MTN8 second leg semi-final against Chiefs) was only our eighth game of the season, there is a long way to go. We are looking at competing in all the other three trophies. But this is not about me, but the club as a collective,” Tembo said.
“I have mentioned before that what happened last season brought us together and we were able to find each other and try to make sure what happened last season doesn’t happen again this time.”
The coach is also growing in his role, which forced him to step out from behind the scenes and away from being boxed into being the club’s go-to guy when they’ve sacked yet another coach for poor results.
Tembo is in the firing line now, but he is reacting with confidence as shown by his tactics in making sure Chiefs’ two away goals from the first leg in Atteridgeville were not a stumbling block at FNB Stadium at the weekend.