Pirates won't change style

2012-03-06 15:22

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates coach Julio Leal said he would not be changing his laissez-faire philosophy and style of play as the Brazilian starts feeling the pressure in the club's hot seat.

"I will not change this kind of relationship even if the players sometimes go beyond the line. This is my style of coaching," said Leal on Tuesday.

"They (players) also sometimes overlap the line, and there are players that need to be kicked in the ass, but it is not my style.

"My relationship (with the players) is good and I would like to see that improve more, but it must be natural and not forced."

There have been reports of internal turmoil and ill-discipline within the Buccaneers' squad with part of the blame going to Leal's free-spirited nature.

The irony is that Ruud Krol, Pirates' treble winning coach from last season, did not have his contract renewed because some players in the club were not happy with his strictness on and off the field.

"I am a son of a dictator back at home in Brazil and hated it. I did not do the same with my sons," said Leal.

"I treat players like they are my sons and won't be 'Commando' over the players.

"Yes, when you are in a group this big, some will not be happy, naturally.

"I try to treat them like friends, respect them as individuals and try to give them freedom to express on the field and off it, and I think they like it."

In his eight months in charge, Leal has won two trophies - the MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout.

However, Pirates have been erratic in their league campaign.

They also bombed out in the preliminary rounds of the CAF Champions League last weekend - a competition that the club had highly prioritised this year.

A number of supporters had called for Leal to be relieved of his duties, though there were the same calls for Krol's head last season before the club went on to lift two cups and the Premiership crown.

There were also reports that club chairman Irvin Khoza had requested a meeting with Leal and the players in the wake of their Champions League exit.

"I have not had a request from the chairman," Leal said.

"But I can't talk about what my mandate in the contract of the club is.

"I feel the expectations of our people. What is important when you lose is to turn the page and forget.

"We trying to win against every opponent - which is what Pirates deserves."

Pirates start their Nedbank Cup defence this weekend against amateur side, Ethekwini Coastals, in Umlazi on Saturday.

Leal added that his side would be well-prepared for the fixture in order to avoid an embarrassing early exit in the South African equivalent of the FA Cup.

Pirates returned from Angola on Monday where they drew 1-1 but lost to Recreativo do Libolo 4-2 on aggregate.

"We will be ready, having had four or five days before the match," Leal said.

"I have all my players now, unlike the Champions League (where some players could not be registered).

"The performance will be good and there will be a fighting spirit."

In Wednesday's games, Santos host University of Pretoria at Athlone, while Platinum Stars take on Dolphin FC in Rustenburg in the cup's Last 32 fixtures.


  • david.lebethe - 2012-03-06 16:04

    I was personally opposed to Ruddi Krol leaving Pirates. Neither do I call for his return nor ask for sacking of the new coach. I basically believe in consistency and I am sure the coach will improve given enough time. All that the players should do (as professionals) stick to their responsibilities and know their role in the team. Some players conduct doesn't bode well of professional players. There was absolutely no need for some of the players ignore the captain and seek audience with the chairman. In fact, it didn't help matters whenh the chairnman granted them audience and/or act on their claims. All that the chairman should have done was to send them packing and referred them to protocol. Moneeb Josephs' behaviour was also unbecoming during Platinum's game - his ceding of captain's armband to Benni MacCarthy was unprofessional. It was a reflection of misunderstanding within the camp. I mean, he was a captain of the day, probably chosen by technical staff, and had no business to unilaterally waive captaincy to another player without any authorisation from technical staff. his conduct must be condemned.

  • lmapheto - 2012-03-06 16:13

    Firstly i would like to say "THE CHAMPS ARE BACK IN TOWN AND PLEASE MAKE WAY" I am inclined to say we officially postpone our mission to conquer Africa...Now to the Coach: Ponder this...tell all your kids that its not compulsory to do homework and brush their teeth before bedtime and that there will be no consequenses...measure the results...Orlando Pirates is not about you only...its a way of life for most of us (Champions only)...think hard Senor Leal

      Sello Chauke - 2012-03-06 18:50

      Leal won super eight and telkom and he was hailed as a hero now he lose champions league preliminary match, why did pirates had to play preliminary while the big guns like al ahly will play after the amatuer teams have eliminated each other, pirates is a lightweight in terms of caf ratings, why expect miracles from poor leal, it start with bafana, they fail to beat the under 23 of senegal

  • Tokollo - 2012-03-07 09:47

    Krol should have taken the team to the champion’s league since he was instrumental in building a winning spirit that dominated SA football. Firing Krol was just not good timing but Leal did start an a good winning note and although his technical approach is not convincing he needs to be given time to allow the players to gel with his coaching and playing methods. That said I don't really favour our coach especially his decision making ability but it's too early to judge him. Since he did not fulfill his mandate of taking us to the CAF final he needs deliver the league cup. With Sundowns on winning ways it will be difficult but we will have nothing less than the league cup at the end of the season to build trust on Leal.

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