Johannesburg - Free State Stars' caretaker coach Themba Sithole insists he is ready to lead Ea Lla Koto, despite a 3-1 defeat to University of Pretoria in his first game in charge of the soccer team on Wednesday.
Stars parted ways with Sithole's predecessor Steve Komphela at the weekend, after Stars were defeated by Kaizer Chiefs on home turf.
"I'm very much ready. I’ve been in football all my life. I’m qualified, just like any other coach," Sithole said after the game at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria.
"I’m still finishing my courses abroad, so I don’t think there is anything really that I still need. I think I’m ready.
"This is my time to bring the culture of Free State back."
The side went two goals behind inside five minutes against Tuks, courtesy of a quick-fire double from Ugandan international Geofrey Massa, who scored a free-kick and a goal from open play.
AmaTuks added their third shortly after half-time.
Despite Katlego Mashego’s strike from the edge of the area, Stars were condemned to their sixth defeat of the season.
"I don’t think the 3-1 is the true reflection of the game," Sithole said.
"I’m not disappointed at all. It was my first game and we didn’t have much time to prepare because of rain and other stuff, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse.
"The team played really well. We dominated the game. Besides the penalty, free-kick and one mistake we made at the back, I don’t think we played bad."
Sithole said it would take time for the Free Staters to adjust to a new coach, who has yet to be named, and he believed a better result would be on the cards when Stars face Mpumalanga Black Aces on December 14 at Mbombela Stadium.
"I’m happy with the performance and we can only take it from here," he said.
"When the coach departs, you need time to work on certain things, which we didn’t have. Going into the second game, we will have enough time to work on certain things and you will see a better performance."