Jonevret re­mains up­beat de­spite loss

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

IT might be his hard­est coach­ing job yet, but Or­lando Pirates men­tor Kjell Jonevret says he is pre­pared to dou­ble his ef­forts to get the wimp­ish Buc­ca­neers fir­ing again.

He at least ad­mits there is a cri­sis fol­low­ing an­other heavy drub­bing against Su­perS­port United – this time in the Ned­bank Cup fi­nal.

Pirates, not for the first time this sea­son, ca­pit­u­lated against Mat­sat­santsa and were thrashed 4-1 to fin­ish a hor­ren­dous cam­paign on an even more sour note. With Su­perS­port tak­ing their foot off the pedal with the en­counter clearly over as a contest, coach Stu­art Bax­ter’s men held back on re­peat­ing the 6-1 score­line hu­mil­i­a­tion of their ri­vals in Novem­ber, which forced then-coach Muhsin Er­tu­gral to re­sign sec­onds af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle at the Mbombela Sta­dium in Nel­spruit.

But Jonevret, while ad­mit­ting it was ex­cru­ci­at­ing to watch Pirates at sixes and sevens, chose not to over­re­act, à la Er­tu­gral.

“Of course I am sad, and it is dif­fi­cult to talk about the fu­ture right now as all we want to do is go home, cry and for­get this hap­pened. It was an aw­ful per­for­mance,” the Swedish-born coach said af­ter the game. “I don’t want to make up ex­cuses why we were so bad. It looked like this was a new com­pe­ti­tion for us. But I do get a lot of en­ergy from the fans and peo­ple out­side. I see how much the club means to them and that is why I am will­ing to work 24 hours a day just to make them happy. Of course there are a few things miss­ing.”

One of those miss­ing el­e­ments in­clude lead­er­ship on and off the pitch, and Jonevret pointed to that in his post-match in­ter­view – play­ers barely lis­ten­ing to his in­struc­tion­sas they searched for an equaliser af­ter Bradley Grob­ler had given Su­perS­port the lead in the first half, only to give the op­po­si­tion am­ple space to pun­ish them fur­ther.

“It was so loud no one could hear me scream­ing for them to get back to the orig­i­nal shape. The play­ers wanted this so badly they de­cided to do things their own way,” the coach ex­plained.

Some of these play­ers are likely to be sent pack­ing, at least that is if chair­man Irvin Khoza is se­ri­ous about restor­ing the club’s pride.

“To­day (af­ter the cup fi­nal de­feat), there is not a lot of pos­i­tive things to talk about,” said Jonevret. “At least we have man­aged to get a bit of sta­bil­ity, un­til to­day. I am not in­volved in all the de­ci­sions, but I will ab­so­lutely make my rec­om­men­da­tions to the club. I could see be­fore the game that the play­ers were hun­gry and wanted to give some­thing back.

“Un­for­tu­nately it didn’t hap­pen, but I am sure that next sea­son we want to try and for­get what hap­pened and we should of course try to be bet­ter.”

Jonevret, who was ap­pointed Pirates coach in Fe­bru­ary, man­aged just six wins from the 18 matches in which he had been at the helm, and said he feels he will have a bet­ter chance of im­prov­ing the Buc­ca­neers when he starts the up­com­ing sea­son with “my new team”.

“I re­ally want to start from the be­gin­ning with my team, so to speak,” he said. “I hope they will lis­ten to me – and the other coaches – a lit­tle bit more now also about what we think we need to be a bet­ter team.”

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