No AmaZulu mandate - coach
Roger Palmgren (Gallo Images)
Durban - AmaZulu coach Roger Palmgren insists he has not been given any mandate by his bosses to steer the club to a top-four Premiership finish and claim a cup title in the new season.
Last week, general manager Peter O'Connor admitted that those were the targets for 2012/13, adding that pressure will be on the Swede to deliver.
“I’ve never been told that I must finish in the top four, we’re always talking about the top eight, so that’s what I’m working for,” Palmgren retorted when asked about those ambitions on Monday.
“There’s nothing in my contract about finishing in the top four. We’re always trying to finish as high as possible, if that is winning the league or top eight, we don’t know.”
His comments came at Usuthu’s first press conference of the new season, which is also the 80th in the club’s history.
“I always work game-by-game and they (the directors) know that," he said.
"To get into the top eight is the primary objective for me and the players.
“The plan is simple, we’re trying to maintain and possibly even improve on what we did last season.
“We’re in to our fourth week of pre-season now and we’ll now start to play a lot more friendlies.”
AmaZulu face English Premier League giants Manchester United at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday in a match that will mark the start of their anniversary year celebrations.
They then travel to Johannesburg on Monday for a friendly against Wits, followed by a clash against Australian outfit Perth Glory in Mbombela next week.
That will be followed by the KwaZulu-Natal Premier’s Cup, involving fellow Premiership clubs Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United, on July 29, ahead of their MTN8 cup opener against Moroka Swallows in early August.
The club also revealed it's latest signing following the recruitment of Liberia international midfielder Dulee Johnson.
The 27-year-old, who has spent his entire career in Europe, has signed a two-year deal with the Durban side.
Johnson was one of three new players unveiled, along with striker Sifiso Vilakazi from Wits and Prince Hlela of Bloemfontein Celtic, who also penned two-year deals.
“The two of them we all know about,” Palmgren said of Vilakazi and Hlela.
“They’ve been around in the PSL for quite a few years now.
“We’ve been monitoring both for a while because we have been looking for different options. Both were high priority players.”
Johnson would make his debut for an African club.
“Dulee is from my part of the world," Palmgren said.
"He’s played in Sweden for many years and has a tremendous CV behind him.
"The reason we brought him in was because we lost Thami Sangweni.”
Bafana Bafana midfielder Sangweni was a big-money departure to Mamelodi Sundowns during the off-season, while several fringe players have also left.
Palmgren said he was still hoping to add another striker as well as a right winger to his squad.