Micho not interested in yes-men
Posted: 13 November 2018 Time: 10:30
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has set the record straight regarding the recent fuss over the hierarchy of the technical bench and commented on Bongani Zungu’s utterances.
There has been plenty of debate around the coaching structure at Pirates in recent weeks after footage surfaced on social media of a perceived power struggle between ‘Micho’ and his assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena.
Mokwena has seen a substantial rise in status given his media engagements as well as personal praise from current and former players since joining The Buccaneers at the start of last season from Mamelodi Sundowns, where he was known as a second assistant to coach Pitso Mosimane and first assistant Manqoba Mngqithi.
However, his more prominent role has been frowned upon by many – including some of the club’s own supporters – sparking a widespread debate over who is actually calling the shots on the bench, while former Sundowns star Zungu also singled out the budding tactician for the team’s noticeable improvement before going as far as also crediting him for The Brazilians’ success during his time at Chloorkop.
With it all having turned to turmoil in the build-up to the highly anticipated clash between Pirates and Sundowns over the weekend, Sredojevic was left to put the fire out himself as he stressed his disinterest in having a bootlicker for an assistant.
“I need to tell you, if a player that I made – Nemanja Matic – had done this [tweeted disrespectfully] to any coach, I would personally slap him,” said the Serb of Zungu’s tweet.
“But, if someone else does this, as I said, it’s not important what and how. I really know that I’m in charge as the head coach, and I have a very strong team led by my assistant coach Rhulani and I’m happy with those things.
“A creation like this one, and you’re making creations, but when you make these things … I will always prefer having beside me a person [assistant] that has a philosophy [of] ‘I do care’ rather than one with a philosophy of ‘I don’t care’.
“So, regretfully what has happened, I have personally been present and I know everything regarding these things, but I will not go deeper and further.
“I will just say it has been unfortunate, and I personally believe that it has past and gone. We cannot return, everyone has a right to his own opinion.
“Let the football talk instead of us, and I will not go further and deeper.”
Asked for clarity on whether he is in fact in charge, Micho said: “I am totally in charge.”
[Ed note: Zungu has since removed the tweet and issued a public apology on his Twitter page - see below]