Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung has admitted that the club had to stick with Steve Komphela over the past two seasons because they knew that it was always going to be a challenge for him to emulate the success that Stuart Baxter enjoyed between 2012 and 2015.
Chiefs are winless in their opening three matches this season, but Motaung hasn't started pressing the panic buttons as yet.
“You can’t go into the changing rooms, kick butt, hire and fire coaches, because ultimately it doesn’t guarantee you that if you bring in a coach tomorrow, he will win games and win the league,“ Motaung said on Metro FM.
“Here is a man [Komphela] whom we brought in knowing that there’s this success, and that came with the baggage. We knew that we were giving Steve a big load on his shoulders, but we had to support him and work with him and we’re still doing the same, but you must remember [that] we do not impose. We work together with him. If it fails, we sit down, if it’s successful, we still celebrate and sit down [with the coach],” he explained.
“If it fails, we then say, ‘this is not working out’, but at the moment, we’re looking at the performance of the team and the character of the players and the type of players that we’ve brought in with him, and the usage of these players. The challenge for him now as a coach, we cannot even say he doesn’t have a team, he doesn’t have players because all these players that we have brought in have not even played,” he said.
Motaung said Komphela’s mandate hasn’t changed since he first came in at the club two years ago, but he has again reiterated that they are willing to give the 50-year-old mentor as much time as possible to turn things around.
“The mandate started when he started, and the mandate is always there – it’s trophies, it’s the way we play and it’s building a professional team out of the coach. So, it’s a challenge; a big one, and he’s got to perform. It’s normal in a big club like this. You have to grow, you have to raise the bar, but I want to clear something, we don’t impose from management’s point of view to the coach. We work together with the coach. We’re not an abusive organization. The pressure is abusive on its own. So, why do we have to be aggressive, fight everybody and fight the supporters?” he asked.
Motaung added that as club bosses they understand the frustrations of the fans because the results have not been coming over the past two seasons, but he wants them to understand that there are challenges which they’re working hard to overcome.
“The supporters have got the right to be angry because they don’t see the results. They’ve got the right to raise their concerns, and they’ve got the right to give us what they are giving us. I mean it’s normal [because] the results are not coming, but we have to look at it from a different perspective to say where the challenges are and where we are going. If this is not happening, we definitely have to sit and say, ‘coach we’ve done this before’. We have had coaches who came in and who had challenges – some won trophies, but we still had to deal with them because they couldn’t sustain [the success].”
“The challenge is there, but I want to guarantee our supporters that we are knuckling down on this with the coach daily to say, ‘let’s find the solution’, but if it doesn’t work, he also knows how this business works. I think the biggest challenge is that can he be given a chance and expose these players,” continued Motaung.
Chiefs signed four players in Bhongolethu Jayiya, Philani Zulu, Teenage Hadebe and Dumisani Zuma, and promoted no less than four players from their academy.
The Amakhosi boss further revealed that they have not given Komphela an ultimatum despite growing calls for the club to fire the coach before it’s too late, adding that they will not dump the former Bafana Bafana captain on the basis that he hasn’t won major trophies with the club.
“I can’t give you a timeline to say next week or next month, but we need the results. We are sitting down on these issues and we’re dealing with them. The season has just started. We haven’t even played the players that we brought in. We’re seeing the challenges that he’s faced with, and we are not going to dump him and and turn our backs on him,” he said.
“If it happens that there are no changes or the results are not coming, then we will have that discussion at that time, but I can’t give you timelines now. I cannot say he must win five games by next week [because] it’s impossible. We’re in a business of success. We also don’t want to make people fail. We are not wishing him [Komphela] to fail. We don’t want the players to fail. We made the decision together when we started the season that this is the right journey we are taking, and we must stick to it and exhaust it. If it’s not happening then it’s not happening, but we won’t do it emotionally and out of aggression, and out of excitement,” added Motaung.