JOHANNESBURG. — SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has downplayed his new role as a full-time head coach and insists he is now accustomed to the pressures of the hot-seat.
Tembo was handed the Matsatsantsa reins on a permanent basis just 10 days ago, after leading the team through the final stages of last season as well as their pre-season preparations.
The former defender has now led the club through one defeat and two victories — the latest being his biggest thus far as his men eliminated Orlando Pirates from the MTN8 quarter-finals.
They will now face Khama Billiat’s Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-finals.
Despite his official term still being relatively new, Tembo maintains he is not overcome with emotions as not much has changed from his time as caretaker coach.
“For me, it has always been business as usual because I’ve been in charge of the team for the past seven months,” said Tembo.
“I drew the plan for our pre-season, and I think what we have been doing has been what we started towards the end of last season, when I got appointed.
“So, we’ve been working really well and nothing has really changed in terms of nerves, because I’ve been in this seat for seven months.”
On his opening three encounters, the Zimbabwean tactician has conceded the challenge of having a smaller squad as games come in thick and fast, but welcomes the short break before their return to Absa Premiership duty against Bidvest Wits over the weekend.
“On the last three games in the last week, I think it’s been a little bit difficult because of the congestion, and we’ve tried to trim our squad because we’re not playing in Africa,” he highlighted.
“It has been very challenging, that’s why it was important for us to rest some of the players in this game, knowing that we’ll have four or five days to recuperate.
“We’re not playing in midweek, so this will give us some time to recharge and be fresh when we meet Wits on Saturday.”
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has questioned the prize money clubs get in the MTN8 and Absa Premiership.
The MTN8 titles comes with a hefty R8 million cheque, while the Absa Premiership trophy has prize money of just R2 million more than the cup competition.
Winning the MTN8 takes just four matches and despite playing 30 matches, the league is just a little more in prize money.
The PSL renewed its sponsorship with Absa before the start of last season after 10 years, but the prize money did not change.
“Of course we want to win the top eight. Who does not want to win the top eight. If you look at the value of top, you play four games and you get R8 million. Why should you play 30 games to get R10 million? For me it does not make sense financial wise,” Mosimane said last week, before their clash against Golden Arrows over the weekend.
“I am not trying to sound like a guy who is trying to cause problems, but it’s the facts. You know that I am right. Probably the league will go to R30 million one of these days because it’s been R10 million for long now.”