Sacked Zobel speaks out

“I think now is the right time to leave because there are 14 days before the next match which gives whoever is coming in enough time to prepare the team his way.

“The agreement was obviously that I get four points from two games and even though we drew tonight and could have still won the next game to get those four points it makes logical sense to step down now.

“The next coach must have enough time before the next match. It is the right decision to make way now for professional reasons. The decision is right to leave now. I am still going to stick around in Johannesburg and I have to discuss what I can do while I am here.

“Maybe I can now sit down and have a beer and travel around to see the beauty of South Africa. I love this country but the next 10 days will really clear what happens next with me.

“Maybe I should go back to Germany, I don’t know.”

Strangely, Zobel contends that the situation at Swallows shows that he is in fact a good coach.

“This is the third time that this kind of thing is happening to me in 30 years as a coach. If I wasn’t a good coach then this kind of thing will not be happening. I am proud that the players still kept on working the same way up to this week.

“I have known for the past five days what he consequence of this result would be. The only thing that I did after the match was call my wife and tell her that I am no longer the coach and then she said she knows already because she has been on the internet. I think she was more nervous than me,” Zobel says.

The cigarette-smoking mentor points to the MTN8 Cup Final loss against Orlando Pirates as the main cause of their struggles.

“The cup Final loss is what led to us struggling the way we have done in the League so far. That cup Final defeat took a lot out of these boys and I could see it the day of the Final in the dressing-room after the match.

“Some players stood to earn in just that one match more than they earn the whole year so I am sure you understand the effects of that kind of thing. But I am glad that the players were gradually recovering from that in recent weeks,” he says.

Despite a chorus of disapproval from some players in then Birds squad about his man management, Zobel says he feels ‘some players’ always played for him up until last night.

“There was no special strategy for this game. The players were motivated to win this game but sometimes luck is not on your side … I feel that tonight some players not only played for themselves but also for me. I was relaxed ahead of this game because that is how I wanted my players to be.

“It was the right decision to be relaxed and respect the law of football … the unwritten laws that if you are in a situation like mine it is only natural that you make space for someone else,” he concludes.

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