Komphela takes all the blame

2015-03-06 00:00

MARITZBURG United boss Steve Komphela will not let anybody but himself take the blame for his side’s poor run in the PSL.

United have not won in seven league matches dating back to a 2-1 win at Orlando Pirates on December 2, and they have slipped down to 10th position on the league table after what was a largely encouraging first half of the season in 2014.

The criticisms of 2015 have been hurled mostly at his side’s inability to take chances, but Komphela told The Witness yesterday that the buck stops with him.

“The fact remains that we have not been getting results and the pressure is there, but that pressure is on me,” Komphela said.

“I will stand in front of the fire and be that panel to make it cooler for the guys standing behind me.”

Such is the responsibility that comes with being a top-flight manager, and although from the outside it appears that the United board are still backing Komphela, the manager said he would understand if they had concerns.

“You never know what the board is thinking,” he said. “Everybody in the club wants to win, and results have not been forthcoming. If you are losing it is like you are in an orphanage, but if you are winning then it is like you are partying in Las Vegas. That is football.”

Still, Komphela remains upbeat about his side’s chances ahead of their trip to University of Pretoria on Sunday. Tuks have been in good league form under the mentorship of Sammy Troughton, who took over when former coach Steve Barker rocked the club by packing his bags for AmaZulu. Ironically, Tuks haven’t lost a league match in their last seven.

“I am an eternal optimist,” Komphela said. “My character has been built on the hardships that I have faced, and I am always confident.”

On his opposition on Sunday, the coach was complimentary.

“They [Tuks] have been doing very well. It is unbelievable that this is the same team that lost their coach not so long ago,” said Komphela. “But in Sammy [Troughton] they have a student of the game. This is not going to be an easy match; that is for sure.”

Komphela promised the same attacking mentality that his side showed in the second half of last weekend’s 0-0 draw at home to Free State Stars, but he will once again be without the services of midfielder Ashley Hartog (knee) and fullback Ryan de Jongh (suspension). Everybody else in the squad is available.

The side will leave for Pretoria tomorrow. Kickoff on Sunday is at 3.30 pm and the match will be televised on SABC 1.

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