THE axe that Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa had for so long dreaded finally fell on him yesterday with Dynamos drafting in Lloyd “Mablanyo” Chigowe as interim coach for the rest of the season. Chigowe will be assisted by club legend Murape “Monya” Murape.
BY HENRY MHARA
Mutasa was sent packing at the team’s training ground yesterday morning, and leaves with his entire backroom staff that includes assistant Joseph Takaringofa, goalkeepers coach Zondai Nyaungwa and fitness trainer Tendai Chaipa.
This follows the team’s awful season where the Harare giants are currently a point away from the relegation zone, with the goalless draw against Bulawayo Chiefs at the weekend being the proverbial last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Club chairperson Isaiah Mupfurutsa said they had to intervene and pull the trigger on Mutasa and his crew because the performance of the team had degenerated to unaccepted levels.
Mupfurutsa said there were no signs of improvement in the team, which faces a real and embarrassing possibility of relegation at the end of the season.
“Our family, particularly the supporters who are the key stakeholders, were no longer happy with the results and as the executive we have been trying our level best to support the team, and the technical team. We gave them all the players they wanted, but still couldn’t get pleasing results. Dynamos have been highly inconsistent this year in terms of performance, so we felt it’s not our year, and we can accept that, but not to the level that we are at the moment. We can’t be in the lower third on the log table,” Mupfurutsa said.
Dynamos have had a terrible season so far which saw Mutasa getting fired midway through the season, and replaced by Biggie Zuze and then Chigowe.
Samaita then bounced back some few weeks later after his replacements failed to validate their appointments, but he himself has also failed to justify his return, with the team lurching from one bad result to another.
“We have never convinced even our stakeholders this season to say we are serious as a team if you look at our performances on the pitch. So, we felt we had to make some changes and bring in the new faces to take the club in the right direction, with a sole mandate to avoid relegation.”
Mablanyo has seven games to save the team’s season, with a trip to champions FC Platinum this weekend marking the start of what could be a difficult and nervy period for the club.
Mupfurutsa defended their decision.
“This is not new, the world over coaches are fired even with a few games to go. In the past there was a time when Dynamos was struggling and they had to bring in the likes of Moses Chunga and at one time Sunday Chidzambga to save the club from relegation. At times you have to make these bold decisions. Yes, it’s risky, but at times it’s necessary. It doesn’t work for us to just wait and see, not making a decision when we are seeing that these guys are not delivering results. It’s either we had to sink or swim.
“The team is in an embarrassing situation, and we are sorry to our stakeholders. We are in this situation, but we need their support, especially the supporters. They should come back and support and worry less about who is there at the moment. We thank our sponsors and fans for standing with us in these difficulty times.”
Mablanyo and Monya, who was working with the club’s juniors before the latest appointment, have had roles in the team’s technical team before, but with little success.
Mupfurutsa though still believes in the duo’s capabilities. They have been contracted until the end of the season with the sole mandate to save the team from relegation.
“We expect them to perform and deliver on their mandate. Every day we should see to it that we are moving towards our goal of saving the team from relegation. We have asked them to save the team and if they are doing well, they can keep their positions,” Mupfurutsa added.
After the difficult trip to Mandava at the weekend, Dynamos will play Black Rhinos, Herentals and then Triangle in Harare.
Fellow relegation candidates Mutare City and Nichrut are also seeking relief ahead of the end of this season. If Dynamos can win at least three of those matches, they will survive relegation.