Palacios gets Benni's vote
AFTER inspiring Orlando Pirates to a second successive treble, striker Benni McCarthy said the club would do well in Africa with interim coach Augusto Palacios in charge on a permanent basis - calling on club chairman Irvin Khoza to give Palacios the top job.
"We could have gone further in the African Champions League if we had Palacios as coach because he's a coach that does his homework and that is the most important thing," McCarthy said. "He's brilliant for this football club."
Palacios guided the Buccaneers to league glory on Saturday, three months after replacing Brazilian Julio Leal, but his long-term future in the position remains in doubt.
Khoza is not known for sentimentality when it comes to the Pirates coaching job, having let go of treble-winning Dutchman Ruud Kroll last year.
McCarthy scored twice in the second half to help Pirates sail past a spirited Lamontville Golden Arrows 4-2 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Speaking on behalf of the players, McCarthy said: "We hope that the club board thinks carefully about who they are going to appoint as the coach for next season because it is very important that players have a connection with the coach.
"He (Palacios) is a player's kind of manager. We go out there and prepare to die for him. (When Palacios took over) we were down and gone but now we've got that fighting spirit because we have a coach that understands us," McCarthy said.
"Hopefully they don't waste a lot of money bringing big-shot coaches in who might not understand South African players."
The Buccaneers closed out the season in spectacular fashion. They had only lost once under the Peruvian, against Santos in his first match in charge, but went on a show-stopping 11- match unbeaten run that was key to their title defence. In that period, Palacios kept telling his players to do whatever it took to avoid losing, even though a rut of three draws on the trot in mid-April threatened to derail their progress.
But the Peruvian remained tight-lipped after the final game about his ambitions to lead the club.
"I don't want to comment on that, that decision is for the chairman (to make)," Palacios said. "I believe that I've finished the mandate he gave to me. He never mandated me to win the league but to just coach the team."