Birmingham move up hell-bent on holding their own

Birmingham City coach Victor Gomeni will not put pressure on the new lads
Birmingham City coach Victor Gomeni will not put pressure on the new lads
Image: Mfundo Piliso

Birmingham City coach Victor Gomeni says he won’t put pressure on the newly promoted lads because their number one priority is to maintain their status in the ABC Motsepe League.

East London-based City gained promotion to the third-tier over the weekend at the Army Base in Grahamstown and Gomeni said learning the tricks and trade of the league was more important to them than “being too ambitious”.

“We don’t want to pressure ourselves by saying that we are going to play to win the league, because for now the main aim is to maintain our status.

“We are new in this league, so the most important thing for us is to solidify our position among the strong teams that have more experience at this level, so that we can continue to grow stronger,” said Gomeni.

He said they have capable players for this new challenge, and after how they performed at the promotional playoffs they were ready to play at this stage.

“All that’s left for us as the technical team is to fix our players’ mindsets. Because we are going to face experienced players, but it’s not by mistake that we are.

“And I don’t want to sound like I’m undermining my players that got this promotion for the team, but we do have to bolster the squad with more experienced players.

“And that’s only because we are entering a new phase, so we have to get experience in the team.

“I have players that are working fulltime, so I have to find guys that will play upfront and in the central midfield. Let alone we managed to win at the playoffs, because we are really lacking in that department and we only need to acquire services of an experienced right-back, then we’ll be good,” he said.

Gomeni said he knew if they won their first game they would be home free, and they managed to win their group stages.

“Because in a playoffs tournament you only need to sleep with three points everyday, then you’ve done it.

“But we are here now, so we need to work even more harder to make a lasting impression in this league.

“I’m very happy the boys finally got what they wanted, because they went to the playoffs that season [2016-17 season] and they lost out.

“But this time around they worked hand-in-hand with me, so that’s something to happy about.

“Especially since we had a tough time preparing for this tournament, because we didn’t know the types of teams we would face there,” he said.

“So we didn’t even know how to prepare for it, so it was more challenging for us. But management assisted me in every kind of way possible.”