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Football | Telkom Knockout

Johan Neskeens © Backpagepix

Pitso replaces Neeskens at Downs



Former Bafana Bafana mentor Pitso Mosimane will replace Johan Neeskens, who was fired as head coach of Premiership strugglers Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.

“Pitso Mosimane will be taking over immediately. He has already been officially introduced the players and the staff at the club," said Sundowns spokesman Thulani Thuswa.

"Pitso is a very experienced coach and his record speaks volumes.”

Mosimane had been without a job since he was dismissed as head coach of the national team in June, after Bafana went seven straight games without a win.

Thuswa said Mosimane would take charge of the side's league clash against Free State Stars in Phuthaditjhaba on Wednesday.

"He understands the culture of South African football, which made him the best candidate to take over.

"His first task will be leading the team in a league match against Free State Stars, so basically he will be hitting the ground running."

The Brazilians, second from bottom in the league standings, lost 1-0 against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout final in Durban on Saturday night – their second cup final defeat in seven months.

"The club president, Patrice Motsepe, praised him (Neeskens) for standing by the club even when times where tough," Thuswa said.

“I mean, this is a coach that took the club to two cup finals – the Nedbank Cup and recently the Telkom Knockout.

"He has done his best in the 18 months that he has been with the club."

Neeskens had remained defiant after the Brazilians went down to Celtic, despite being under huge pressure to win the title and appease disgruntled supporters and his bosses.

“It is obviously disappointing, but this was a final where there is always a winner and a loser,” the Dutchman said, just hours before he was fired by the big-spending club.

“I think it will be difficult to lift this team to challenge for the (league) title, but to get away from where we are, I'm confident it's going to work out."

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