Sundowns reassures Neeskens
Struggling Mamelodi Sundowns have moved to ease the pressure on beleaguered coach Johan Neeskens by denying media speculation that failure to win at the weekend will cost the former Dutch World Cup star his job.
A club statement has gone out of its way to rubbish the reports, a rare denial from the club whose owner Patrice Motsepe has a long history of firing under-performing coaches and has been silent in the wake of violence and discord that has characterised the club’s recent performances.
Neeskens was slapped in the face and police prevented him from being hit over the head by a vuvuzela last Sunday after the club lost for a fifth time in their last six matches.
Sundowns supporters now face criminal charges following the attempted assault and the vandalism that followed a 2-0 defeat by hosts Moroka Swallows in Soweto.
"The issue of the coach's position with the club is hypothetical as it has never been discussed,” said a statement attributed to General Manager Kenneth Makhanya and technical department head Trott Moloto.
“Sundowns wishes to record that reports that he is facing the chop are without foundation, and management has given the coach full support to pursue the objectives of the club.
"No ultimatum has been given to the coach, or anybody, and Mamelodi Sundowns is confident that the club will turn the corner. Clubs the world over go through rough patches, but come out much stronger," the statement added.
Sundowns’ next match is at home to Platinum Stars at Atteridgeville on Saturday night.
Last month Neeskens needed a police escort from the stadium to keep him from being assaulted by angry supporters.
Neeskens is in his second season at the club, having failed to deliver a trophy last season. Sundowns started this campaign with a rollicking 4-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 quarterfinal in early August but have been on a downhill slide since.