Palacios: Rhulani was unlucky

Former Orlando Pirates mentor Augusto Palacios believes Rhulani Mokwena was unlucky in his time at the helm of the Buccanneers.
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Peruvian Palacios and Mokwena remain the only two black head coaches to have been employed by Pirates in the last 10 years.

Many feel that Mokwena should have been given until the end of the season in his interim role and it is a shame that he only had three months in charge.

And Palacios tends to agree, saying that Mokwena had very little luck, while his Kaizer Chiefs counterpart Ernst Middendorp seemed to enjoy all of it.

"No, no, no. I don't think there’s anything wrong [with Mokwena]," Palacios told KickOff.

"You know, sometimes when you don't have luck, things don't happen in football. I recall many times in games where the ball came off the goalpost twice, own goals, angry players... It happens to any club or any coach.

“I tell you at Kaizer Chiefs, Middendorp has had luck in too many games, and it happens, it's there. The thing about football is, you can't predict the way you prepare.

“You prepare, and when you go to the field, you think everything is okay. Look at Micho [Sredojevic], he went to Egypt and won a cup [but couldn’t do it in the PSL].”

And Palacios has no doubt in Mokwena's potential and urged the 32-year-old tactician to hold his head high.

“Rhulani has passion for football, he's very brave, I can tell you and he's young. He's tried to transfer his experience to the players,” Palacios added.

“One day he had one central defender injured, Happy Jele – red card... It's very difficult. But now, he's got experience as a head coach.

“Now he's worked with Sundowns; now he's worked with Pirates. Can you tell me how many local coaches have had such jobs before?

“These things happen. But I believe he's a strong person, he's in the learning process. I know him, he is a young boy with a lot of prospect, but let's give him the time.

“He needs to be very strong because this job of soccer is very cruel. To coach is very difficult.

“My advice to him is keep on working hard, no matter in which position, and your chance will come again. I don't know if it will be with Pirates or with another team... He will decide.”

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