Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
5 Nov 2016
12:13 pm

I couldn’t refuse the Pirates job – Palacios

Sibongiseni Gumbi

For a man who inherits a team supposedly low on confidence, Augusto Palacios didn’t look at all worried this week when he addressed his first media conference after being handed the reins at Orlando Pirates.

The 64-year-old Peruvian mentor was again called to act as a stop gap for the Buccaneers after Muhsin Ertugral’s sudden resignation following a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of SuperSport United on Tuesday night.

Palacios said he couldn’t refuse when he was asked to take over in the interim while the Buccaneers chairman, Irvin Khoza looked for a coach to take over on a permanent basis.

“It would be an insult to the chairman if when he approaches me to coach the team at this time of need and I said no…

“One thing the chairman knows is that I don’t have ambition to coach‚ where I apply for jobs at Safa‚ (Mamelodi) Sundowns or Free State Stars. He approached me.

“If the chairman says I should continue, I will and if he finds someone else, I will gladly step down,” he said.

He revealed that he was asked to come for a meeting at Pirates’ training venue at Rand Stadium where Khoza had just announced Ertugral’s resignation and was addressing the players on the new developments when he suddenly turned to Palacios.

“And the chairman said‚ ‘Do you want to coach the team – yes or no?’,” explained Palacios.

The well-travelled mentor said he would not be talking about the 6-1 as he doesn’t want to remind them of their mistakes but will rather be focusing on the future.

“I am a person who cares about the players in all aspects. I can’t be telling the players about the 6-1, that would be wrong,” said Palacios.

“We haven’t spoken about the previous coach. We haven’t spoken about the 6-1, we are talking about the way forward,” he added.

Palacios will sit on the Buccaneers bench for the first time in his third stint as a caretaker coach when they host Highlands Park in a Telkom Knockout at Orlando Stadium at 8.15 on Saturday evening.

It will be interesting to see how he gets the team to perform after the deflating 6-1 defeat.

Palacios mentioned the importance of advancing to the next round of the cup competition. Bucs have not won a cup in the past two seasons.