AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
SOUTH African Pitso Mosimane, who has been given a warm welcome by his new club Egyptian giants Al Ahly, has no time to settle down. He has to lead the team in a semi-final for continental honours.
Mosimane left South African top side Mamelodi Sundowns after eight years and 11 trophies. He replaced Swiss Rene Weiler at the Al Ahly.
Al Ahly will face Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League, where a win will take them a game away from clinching their 9th title.
In an interview with Al Ahly TV, Mosimane expressed deep respect for the club and its history. He said it was a big opportunity and honour for him to coach a team dubbed “Africa’s club of the century”.
Mosimane said: “I have huge respect for the Al Ahly badge. I can’t say much about the team because I just arrived but I have an idea because I just faced them in the [CAF Champions League] quarter-finals when I was managing Mamelodi Sundowns.
“So I can talk from that experience but what you see outside is not what you see inside, and when you know the players closely, then you have a different opinion. I haven’t been able to follow Al Ahly’s games in the league because I was finishing the league and cup with Sundowns.
“But I know the team has good character, good spirit, and they have a winning mentality and they fight for winning. But all the big teams in the world have good things and have other things to improve.
“The team is strong enough to win the Champions League, so we’ll go for it. If you go through the semi-final, you might as well win the final and the tournament.”
Mosimane said he would use the four remaining league games to get to understand the team and emphasised that he would rely on – and not purge – the current Al Ahly technical team.
“We still have four games in the league, which will give me a good idea about the team but the most important for me is the assistant coaches and the people who have been with the team to focus on the things that took us the semi-finals.
“There is no time to start over and we have to focus on the semi-final games and complete the competition then we will have time to look inside and see what we need to improve the team.
“I rely on the coaching staff, the senior players and everyone in the club to keep the momentum going. I am not here to change anything. We are in the semi-final, let’s go to the final.”