Orlando Pirates won't be distracted by Mokwena's 'sideshows' - Mbele

The Soweto giants opted to go the German route following the departure of Sredojevic and management talks about Mokwena's emotions since then
The Soweto giants opted to go the German route following the departure of Sredojevic and management talks about Mokwena's emotions since then

Orlando Pirates administrative officer Floyd Mbele has shared light on the appointment of Josef Zinnbauer as their head coach. 

The 49-year-old mentor joined the Sea Robbers in December, taking over from Rhulani Mokwena who had been tasked with holding the fort following Milutin Sredojevic's departure. 

According to Mbele, Pirates had no choice but to appoint Zinnbauer as all the quality coaches they were eyeing were unavailable. 

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"All the quality coaches were already in jobs when we were looking for a new man and we eventually reduced our search and got Jo Zinnbauer and as they say, the rest is history," Mbele said in an interview with SAFM

"Sometimes it's a miss, sometimes it's hit, just like players. His presentation and outlook convinced us that he was the right man. He's also German and comes from the new school. You can tell by the way we are trying to play.

"The one benefit we have at the club is that everyone, all the players are aligned to the club and not the coach but obviously there were players who featured under Micho and others under Rhulani. We will see sooner rather than later who's adapted, like Mhango," he said.

Mbele said the club was disappointed with the manner in which Sredojevic left his post but he said they have already made peace with the fact the Serbian mentor is no longer their coach.  

"We were disappointed by Micho's departure, especially the manner that it happened because we gave the coach a three-year contract and provided all the resources, so it was very disappointing. He left for greener pastures, good luck to him, but we soldier on," he added. 

"Micho's two years were relatively satisfactory, but obviously a coach is judged on what he's won and in terms of the trophy cabinet, it is still barren."

Mbele also weighed in on Mokwena's absence from Pirates training grounds and matches. He said the now 35-year-old coach asked for a 'few days' off. 

"In terms of Rhulani's appointment, it was two-fold, we wanted to stabilize and thought he was the right man having worked with Micho. He didn't do badly at all."

"He has requested leave and asked for a few days off. At the moment, he's not back," continued Mbele.  

Asked if Mokwena requested leave to focus on his coaching badges as it has been claimed, Mbele said: "I'm not aware of him going for a coaching course. When he filled in his form, he said he's taking a few days off."

Furthermore, Mbele said he was unsure if Mokwena had accepted being relegated back to his old position after being seen sulking on the bench during Zinnbauer's first game late last year. 

He suggested Mokwena may have been emotional about the situation but said Pirates will not be distracted by sideshows.    

"I'm not going to say much about whether or not he has fully accepted the return to the position of assistant coach. Maybe it was an emotional thing at the time but we will not be distracted by sideshows," concluded Mbele. 

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