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Football | Absa Premiership

Roger Palmgren © Backpagepix

Palmgren named new AmaZulu coach



Manqoba Mnqithi became the first coaching casualty of the Premier Soccer League season on Sunday when he was sacked by AmaZulu and replaced by Durban Warriors boss Roger Palmgren.

Usuthu have made a woeful start to their Premiership campaign and are one of only two teams yet to record a victory, while their winless run stretches back 16 games to the middle of last season.

"Following a poor start and a 14th league finish last season, AmaZulu's board of directors decided to release Manqoba Mngithi as the head coach," the club said in a statement.

Mngithi's last game in charge was on Saturday evening when AmaZulu were beaten 1-0 by Moroka Swallows at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The ambitious Durban side, who managed to avoid a relegation playoff last term after a superior goal difference, had set themselves a top-four target this time around.

However, they sold their best player, Lehlohonolo Majoro, to Kaizer Chiefs during the closed season and failed to replace him, with Mngithi defiant in his youth policy drive, which seemed to have ultimately cost him his job.

"Manqoba has added a lot of value in the club but unfortunately the results were not forthcoming, hence we had to release him from his contract," said AmaZulu director Graham O'Connor.

New coach Palmgren is not unfamiliar to his new role, having been promoted from First Division side Warriors, which is AmaZulu's feeder club.

"Firstly I feel very sad for the coach because I've been part of AmaZulu, and I was one of the people who recommended him, but we needed more points than we have," said the Swede, a former coach of Thanda Royal Zulu and the Sierra Leone national team.

"We're all going to be judged by results as coaches.

"I promised myself after Thanda to never take a team without proper administration.

"I still believe that even though we have not been getting the good results, we have a good mixture of young and experienced players."

Palmgren's first match in charge will be away to BidVest Wits on Saturday.

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