Orlando Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret says he is focussing on the new season and not his future at the club
Posted: 29 July 2017 Time: 21:41
Orlando Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret has seemingly accepted that his fate is no longer in his own hands, but insists he is trying to remain focused on preparations for the new season.
Despite taking over just six months ago, Jonevret's days at the Mayfair-based club are numbered with ongoing speculation that Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic is set to return to the club where he briefly held the reins with back in 2006.
Even before Saturday's Carling Black Label Champion Cup defeat to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs, the Jonevret’s position had come under scrutiny with Pirates having shown little improvement since his arrival, while a 4-1 defeat in the Nedbank Cup final also didn't aid his case.
But Jonevret feels he achieved one goal by helping the Buccaneers steer clear of the relegation zone, albeit finishing in a paltry 11th position, and still holds optimism that they can become a "top team again."
"When I arrived my mission was to try and save the season as much as possible, because we were a little bit in the relegation battle also," explained Jonevret after the 1-0 defeat in the annual pre-season friendly against Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
"We took the points that we needed to at least get up a little bit, and we worked hard and then went to the [Nedbank] Cup final. It's a little sad that we had a month without competitive games, which was tough because we might have done a little different [to the loss against SuperSport United].
"At the same time, not only for me but the whole technical team, the thoughts have been on this [2017/18] season pretty early, so that we should try to play a little bit more the way we thought we need in order to be a top team again.
"Everyone wants to have Orlando Pirates up there, I think even Kaizer Chiefs want Orlando Pirates up at the top together with them. Our [technical team] thoughts have been there all the time, that it's now when the job really starts."
However, the Swede is not oblivious to the rumours making the rounds that his future could already have been decided before the team even plays a competitive fixture in around three weeks time.
"I've worked in this business for long – I know exactly how it is – sometimes they have patience and other times not," he admitted.
"At Orlando Pirates there have been a lot of coaches in the last couple of years, but it's difficult for me to say anything about that [rumours]. I'm professional and we're working hard everyday and trying to do our best.
"As I've said, I'm 100 percent [committed] and I understand the game a little bit. I think a few pieces have started to get in here and I'm sure it's going to be a much better season.
"But if it's going to be with me, or if they have found a dream coach somewhere, that's not up to me. But I'm pretty cool, just working and we're trying to do our best every day."