Free State Stars coach Nikola Kavazovic not embarrassed by defeat to Cape Town City
Posted: 20 January 2019 Time: 18:00
Free State Stars coach Nikola Kavazovic says he’s not worried following his side’s crushing defeat to Cape Town City, insisting the loss won’t bring his players down.
Ea Lla Koto conceded five, and ended the match with ten men following Sifiso Hlubi’s red card, in a 5-0 defeat in Cape Town on Wednesday, with their Serbian head coach blaming himself for the striking scoreline.
“I told my players‚ they lost 2-0 and I lost 5-0,” he said. “Trust me‚ if I wanted to protect 2-0‚ the game would not finish with that big score.
“But I put on two strikers [Eleazar Rodgers and Sinethemba Jantjie] in order to try and create something and that was my mistake and my decision.”
“I don’t have any objections with my players. It’s my responsibility that we lost this game. We are playing and well and playing great football.”
Kavazovic did however lament the lack of leadership on the field as City capitalised on their one-man advantage, with regular skipper Paulus Masehe suspended for the clash.
“There was a clear absence of a leader on the field,” he said. “We only have one leader in this team and that’s Paulus Masehe. We didn’t have anyone on the field to call the players on the field and say, “Guys, let’s come back, let’s protect this, don’t allow them to increase their winning margin.
“We continued to attack to try and score, and then continued to concede and concede and concede.”
Kavazovic says he is unperturbed by the heavy defeat, and insists his players will bounce back even stronger.
“5-0 is not a realistic picture of this game,” he said. “I am not worried about it or ashamed of the result – at the end of the day City deserved to win and deserved three points because they succeeded to provoke a penalty and red card, and that is a quality of big teams.
“Trust me, we lost 5-0 in this game‚ but I can assure you my players did not lose one percentage of self-confidence. I can promise we will come back much stronger and maybe this defeat will be good for them to keep them grounded.”
Stars will look for a morale-boosting victory in their next outing, a Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash against Richards Bay next weekend.