De Sa: I am just doing my job

2012-09-29 17:08

Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa tells Daniel Mothowagae that players believe in his more compact system but the vacuum left by Benni McCarthy in the attack remains a problem for the defending Absa Premiership champions.

On the transition from being CEO and coach at Bidvest Wits to simply being Pirates’ head coach:
It was a good learning curve on the real business of the game and I think I learned more in those two years (as acting CEO) than in my 30 years in football.
As a coach I participated in the signing of players and contracts, and from the CEO’s point of view, I was involved in everything from sponsorship to hotel bookings.

I had people around me who enabled me to do the job.

Things in football come to an end and I had to move on. My passion has always been coaching.

On not conceding a goal in his first two matches in charge:
I have always been more knowledgeable about defence than attack because I was a defender (goalkeeper) myself.

If you take over a team that concedes too many goals and is not doing well, you tighten at the back first.

The first days were used to instil tactical discipline in defence and hopefully we can now improve on the attacking side

On his reunion with Eric Tinkler:
If I was the chairman of any club, Eric would be the first person I employ because of his work ethic and passion for the game.

I told chairman Irvin Khoza exactly that. He is an added head at the table. I brought in a lot of ex-players at Wits and they contributed extremely well.

I believe in former pro players and here I have Teboho (Moloi) and (Williams) Okpara.

On why captain Lucky Lekgwathi is warming the bench:
Rooi (Mahamutsa) and (Siyabonga) Sangweni are playing really well as they have struck a good partnership. In today’s football, with so many games, suspensions and injuries, he will get to play.

He is right there as the captain and rightfully so.

 He is a good club man and a true professional.

There are 30 players and he is one of those who hasn’t been in the starting 11.

On the number of players on Pirates’ books:
We have 30 players and they are all able players.

The number is manageable because we want to play in Africa (CAF competitions) and we want to be sure we aren’t caught short.

On Benni McCarthy’s absence:

We have a few injuries and the vacuum left by Benni is a problem for us.

That’s why we have brought in more strikers than usual because we are trying to find the right person to fill that gap.

On the new playing formation:
We changed the formation to 4-3-3, which is actually more offensive, compact and disciplined.

After one day of training with the team, I could sense that they wanted a change and they understood the need.

We can’t expect Oupa (Manyisa) and Andile (Jali) to cope against packed midfields.

Players agreed that we needed an extra midfielder and that’s why we play more narrow.

The players have accepted the system and they believe in it, which is more important.

We might change in the games to come, but for now it has worked for us.

On his passion for development:
This club has probably won 75% of all junior tournaments if you look back at history, but there are not enough young players in the current team.

There are more players from Wits than those from the Pirates development (programme)!

If they are good enough they will be given the opportunity.

On the pressure to defend the league title:
We can’t win everything all the time. It doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.

The only thing that can happen is we must try to win everything.

There is always talk of pressure from the fans.

They are like that all over the world, but I can tell you there is no fan in that stand who hates losing more than me.

It’s a football pressure and an enjoyable one.

On his character during matches:
Some people have a go at me, but I never wish to harm anybody.

I am just doing my job. I played hard, I gave and took the knocks.

I’m just a straightforward person who doesn’t hide behind things.

On his run-ins with referees:
I’ve been sent off twice in my career, but there are coaches who have been sent off more than me.

But the level of refereeing has got better and there are nice young ones coming through.

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