Roger Palmgren believes his ability to bring ‘happiness’ to AmaZulu was one of the reasons behind the team’s impressive turn around this season
Palmgren took over at Usuthu from the sacked Manqoba Mngqithi in September last year, with the Swede inheriting a squad that had gone 16 games without victory - a run which stretched back to the 2010/11 campaign.
However, the 49-year-old quickly instilled a winning mentality in the team, which reached its climax on the final day of the season, with the Durbanites holding Kaizer Chiefs to earn their place in the MTN8 with a seventh-place finish.
“It is very tough to take over a team who are struggling from the bottom of the log as many may know. But I think we did a very good job in firstly bringing happiness to the players as I believe that a happy person works and delivers results which bring happiness in return,” he told the club’s official website.
“Indeed we moulded a positive and persistent team through hard work and dedication.”
When asked what his priority area was when he first took over, he replied: “Tactically we worked on the defence as a start, and then went on to the middle and of course in the striking department.
“The results are evident because the team has one of the best defensive records and statistics are showing that we are now creating more chances than before. So slowly but surely we are carving up a solid team.”
Looking forward to next season, Palmgren added: “We must keep what we have built now, a good defence and try to improve on our attacking with additional attention to that and we will have a competing force.
“Obviously a team’s aims are always to win something whether it’s the league or a cup competition so we must work towards that. But everything in good time because I cannot say we are really happy at the moment.
“The challenge really is to get used to finishing inside the top 8 as regulars and then we can start getting comfortable in winning the silverware.”