WATCH | Pitso feels Abha axe didn't harm his image

Four months not enough to dent my image, says Mosimane

Nkareng Matshe Sports editor
Abha Club coach Pitso Mosimane.
Abha Club coach Pitso Mosimane.
Image: X

Pitso Mosimane says his reputation as a coach was not dented by the ill-fated four-month spell with Saudi Arabia’s Abha, which ended in the club's relegation.

Mosimane found the club languishing at the bottom of the log after joining them in January and, despite requiring a victory in the final match to ensure they stayed up, Abha dropped down, prompting some to question if SA’s most decorated coach had not soiled his CV.

“I look at it in a positive way,” Mosimane said.

“I went there knowing they (Abha) were in a precarious position, but we believed we would save them. We moved three times out of the relegation zone. What was most painful was that we were out before the last match, and then lost.”

Having won three CAF Champions Leagues and several league championships with Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly, and also helped Al-Ahli Saudi regain their status in that country’s Premiership, the Abha spell was undoubtedly one of Mosimane’s lowest points in a highly successful coaching career.

“I don’t think my reputation could be tarnished by four months’ work,” he retorted.

“If that was the case I wouldn’t be receiving calls from the (Gulf) region. Four months is not enough to dent a reputation. Have I received offers from the region after that? Yes. Do I want to promote or save another team? I will decide.”

Mosimane added he was always a risk-taker rather than someone who preferred taking ready-made jobs.

“I’m in another space in my career. I went to Sundowns (in 2012) to challenge the dominance of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. We succeeded in that.

“I also asked myself why north African teams dominate the Champions League. I was curious. I played in that space and we managed to reach the semifinals and win a final with Sundowns.

“After that I went to Al Ahly, and I’m proud to have become their first African coach. My curiosity then took me to the Gulf region and again, I’m happy to have been the first African coach there.”

Mosimane cited other coaches who’ve had blips in their careers but still got top jobs.

“Carlo Ancelotti went to Everton and it didn’t work out. He’s won Champions Leagues with Real Madrid. The same goes to Thomas Tuchel. He won the Champions League with Chelsea but it didn’t work out at Bayern. These are the thing you take in with your career, you don’t personalise these things. You grow and get experience. I’m turning 60 (on July 25) so I like to explore…I like to navigate.”

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