"Mokwena will be better than me" - Mosimane backs Orlando Pirates coach

The accomplished mentor is sad to see Micho leave the Buccaneers, but he backed his successor

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has backed Rulani Mokwena to succeed at Orlando Pirates.

Mokwena was temporarily appointed Pirates coach after Serbian tactician Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic resigned on Friday.

Mosimane believes Mokwena, who is in his first coaching job in the PSL, will be better than him as a coach having worked with the highly-rated mentor at Sundowns

“I’ve sent Rulani a text to wish him luck. He’s been looking for an opportunity. Now he must just fly," Mosimane told Daily Sun.

"I’ve said long ago, when he was next to me, that he’s going to be better than me in future. But he still has to travel the road."

Mokwena lost his first match against Highlands Park in the MTN8 quarter-finals on Saturday evening and Mosimane urged the former Sundowns academy coach not to stress about the defeat.

"He must never worry about the loss (MTN8) because it’s part of football. They’ll always be there. He must never worry. I’ve lost three games in a row, and I know how it feels when you lose three," he added.

“Everybody starts to talk, start to write you off... everybody finds mistakes. He’ll calm down. I’ll talk to him if I have to. But I don’t want to interfere. But my advice is losses are part of the game. It’s part of growth.“

"I just hope it won’t be a situation where people start saying, ‘You see, we told you, he won’t make it as a head coach’. Like Seema (Lehlohonolo of Bloemfontein Celtic) is being given a chance. He must," he explained.

Pirates finished as runners-up behind champions Sundowns in the last two PSL seasons under the guidance of Micho, who tuned the Soweto giants into perennial league title contenders.

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But Mosimane insisted ”Orlando Pirates are still Orlando Pirates” even without Sredojevic.

“You know when you have someone keeping you on your toes, pushing you? That’s how I felt about Micho. He pushed me hard for two years. I’ve known him for many many years when he was still a coach in Uganda," he added.

“We had a healthy rivalry. I’m saddened by him leaving because we had a very good competition. l learned a lot from him. Unlike me, he’s calm. He knows how to handle a loss," he concluded.