NEWLY-APPOINTED Sandawana coach Antonio Jesus Flores says he is ready to turn things around at the Butha-Buthe outfit, beginning with this weekend’s Vodacom Premier League clash with Likhopo.
The Spaniard who reached three finals with his former club, Ugandan Premier League Sport Club Villa in 2015 was officially unveiled as Tse Boyellow coach on Friday after penning an 18-month contract.
Sandawana head into the match on 10th position following their 2-1 win over Linare last week while Likhopo will be similarly motivated after compounding Butha-Buthe Warriors’ woes with an emphatic 4-0 drubbing for only their second win of the season.
“I am happy to be here and my main target is to turn things around in the team,” Flores said, adding, “The aim is to win and that has to start with our daunting task against Likhopo this weekend”.
“They (Likhopo) are not in a good position but the fact that they won 3-0 last week means they are motivated and also desperate for points and that makes them even dangerous.”
Flores said he had been working with the team for almost two weeks and was impressed with what he had seen.
“I have good players and I am impressed with what I have seen in the past two weeks although there are still some areas needing improvement.
“In football we need to be realistic to avoid unnecessary pressure for things to work out, we are on 10th position and with nine matches to go winning the league would be farfetched so the target is to finish in a respectable position. Perhaps next season we can start thinking of winning the league when I have settled and familiarised myself with the conditions in the country,” said the 44-year old mentor.
Flores who has worked as a scout for English Premier League and Spanish La Liga giants Chelsea and Barcelona respectively, said while it would take time to settle, his experience in Uganda would come in handy.
“I have worked in Uganda before so I am somewhat familiar with African football and I believe that experience will help me to settle,” he said.
For his part, Likhopo coach Tšeliso ‘Matsutsu’ Mofolo said their aim was to pick up from where they left off last weekend and beat Sandawana.
“Last week’s result against Warriors has been a great morale booster and our target is to continue from where we left off when we host Sandawana this afternoon.
“We are still in a very dangerous position and we need to double our efforts in every match if we are to jump out of the relegation zone,” Mofolo said.
He said the technical team and players had been working very hard but at the same time they were conscious of the need to avoid putting too much pressure on the players because theirs was a squad of mostly youngsters.
“The competition is tough out there and every team doesn’t want to be relegated.
“That means Sandawana will come at us with full force but we are ready for them and we won’t leave with anything less than three points,” he vowed.