Zondo must meet points targets

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Celtic CEO Ike Augousti said that the club management had met with Zondo and team captain John Maduka and that Zondo will continue as head coach.

“If Celtic do not obtain consistent league points in the next four or so games, we will have to reassess the situation because we cannot allow Celtic to face the danger of being involved in the relegation struggle," said Augousti.

"We brought Zondo aboard during last season because we were happy with his youth strategy and convinced that he would be able to find the correct balance of youth and experience in the team to make Celtic into a title-challenge force and are still convinced that we are supporting the right coach for the job."

"We have chatted long and hard about the Celtic situation and admittedly, Zondo has had a lot of injury problems to key players which have hampered his plans, but being a professional soccer club, we need to find solutions and can’t make excuses," added Augousti.

Celtic are currently in 13th spot on the log with 26 points from 23 matches, two points clear of Thanda Royal Zulu, with Jomo Cosmos and bottom-placed Black Leopards on 19 and 15 points respectively.

Following a series of poor results, Zondo was relieved of his coaching duties following Celtic’s 3-1 league defeat by Moroka Swallows on March 2, after which assistant coach Benjamin Reed and David Modise stood in, but pressure from the Celtic fans brought about the reintroduction of Zondo, for the past three matches – which have all ended in defeat for the Free State side.

Since Zondo’s return to the head coach post, Celtic have been eliminated from the lucrative Nedbank Cup 3-2 by Cape Town-based national first division side Ikapa Sporting, and have also suffered league losses to at home to Platinum Stars (2-0) and Santos (1-0).

Celtic’s last League win was on February 24, when they beat AmaZulu 3-2 in Bloemfontein, and since then have only been able to pick up one points – a goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns – in their last five Premiership games.

On whether Zondo’s services would be retained for the new season, Augousti said: "We will cross that bridge when the time arises, but the coach is still contracted to Celtic for the new campaign. However, in the game of soccer, its results that count."

Celtic’s next Absa Premiership fixture will consist of a tricky encounter at the King Zwelithini in Durban on April 5, against a Golden Arrows side that is sitting comfortably in 8th position on the league table with 32 points from 23 outings.