Pitso Mosimane on Middendorp and Zinnbauer: 'They come from a privileged position'

14 January 2020 - 16:11
By Marc Strydom
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

Pitso Mosimane has defended his right to fight for his space as a coach‚ saying he is competitive‚ and if he ruffles feathers that is because the coach is from a background of having to hustle.

Mosimane said in fighting for that space as South Africa’s premier coach right now‚ he “must fight with the two Germans” – Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp and Orlando Pirates’ new boss Josef Zinnbauer.

Title-chasing Sundowns meet Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night needing a win to close the gap on Absa Premiership leaders Chiefs to six points.

“I’m highly competitive when it comes to winning a match - even a preseason friendly game‚” Mosimane said.

“It’s not Pirates or Chiefs – it’s competition. And it’s bragging rights. Why shouldn’t I write my own history?

“I need to write my own history. I must fight with the two Germans. And it’s not easy. It is tough for me.

“Because they come from a privileged position – I mean Middendorp coached a team in the Bundesliga‚ this guy [Zinnbauer] coached in the Bundesliga‚ and he also coached St Gallen [in Switzerland].

“Who have I coached? SuperSport United. I haven’t coached anybody else.

“So my pride is for local coaches‚ so we can show that we can do something with our Safa Level 1s‚ our A-licences.

“Look at those guys‚ how qualified they are. I think 10 years back they both had Eufa Pro Licences‚ and learning and studying in the same classes as Juergen Klopp.

“And then where was I? Coaching in Soweto. So you’ve got to understand how difficult it is.

“But we don’t have to use excuses. We [black South Africans] came from a different background. We know the education we got. We ruffle the feathers‚ we hustle. We find our way out.

“And we don’t have to use excuses. Even other people from other races didn’t grow up with a silver spoon. So let’s not play the race card.

“Because I know children who don’t have the opportunities‚ like other black children now.

“So it’s not about that. It’s your attitude. How you want to do things. And that’s me. I’m competitive‚ and I’ve been competitive.

“I haven’t completed my Pro Licence. But who cares on the day of the match – you must deliver my friend‚ don’t tell us about those things.

“And also for my local coaches – I have to show that these things are possible. It’s possible that Nelson Mandela can be president in this country.”

Mosimane‚ South Africa’s best practitioner of the pre-match mind game‚ was clearly downplaying his own coaching pedigree.

The former Bafana Bafana striker has won four league titles – the most at one club‚ and joint-most in the PSL – and the 2016 Caf Champions League in his six-and-a-half years at Sundowns.