THE Dynamos executive has for the past four years appeared to be patient with coaches, keeping Kalisto Pasuwa at the helm even when things looked awry. The product of their tolerance has been four consecutive Premier Soccer League titles.
BY HENRY MHARA
But it seems they are back to their old ruthlessness after firing David Mandigora, just six months into his three-year contract.
Mandigora replaced Pasuwa at the start of the season, but his tenure was cut short on Thursday night when the Dynamos executive met to review the first half of the season.
The decision was announced by club president Keni Mubaiwa at a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
Mubaiwa, flanked by club secretary-general Webster Chikengezha and treasurer Webster Marechera, said Mandigora’s failure to meet the 30-point target that had been set for him in the first 15 games, triggered the sack.
Tonderai Ndiraya, who was Mandigora’s assistant, has been promoted, but on an interim basis. He will be assisted by Gift Muzadzi, who is also the team’s goalkeepers’ coach, while team manager Richard Chihoro has retained his position.
“We held a meeting to review our first half of the season and we came to the conclusion that the team has underperformed. We made it known to the head coach that the team had failed to meet our expectations. We asked him what could have been the problem. We were not satisfied with his answers so we decided to fire him,” Mubaiwa said.
He added: “When we hired him we told him of our expectations and that did not happen. He has played 17 matches, but still he has not reached the target for the 15 matches. We realised that we were not going anywhere and decided to act now.”
“We did it before, in 2011, when we appointed Pasuwa with 11 games remaining after realising Lloyd Mutasa was struggling and the gamble paid off. Pasuwa played boring football, but you could see he had direction, but with this one it’s different.”
Very few saw this coming though considering that Dynamos are just three points shy of log leaders Triangle. The league champions were in almost a similar position at this stage of the season last year, with 31 points from their opening 17 matches. They went on to win the league title.
Ndiraya’s target is to win the league title, and anything short of that, Mubaiwa said, he will be fired. If he can achieve the goal, he will get the job permanently.
“We are very hopeful that we can retain the title and that is the reason why we have fired Mandigora this early when there are some games still to play. I think this will give the interim coach a good chance to turn things around. It’s still possible that we can redeem our season. We have told him (Ndiraya) that he should win the league; that is his target.”
When asked if he would be up to the task of winning the title, the former Dynamos midfielder responded confidently.
“That is what we fight to do each time we come here, each time we go out to play a game . . . we fight for that prize. Our vision hasn’t changed, we still want that accolade. We will fight very hard and make sure that we get what we want,” Ndiraya said.
“We want to take the team forward. It’s a huge challenge, but I think I have gained enough experience from working under quite experienced coaches. I have worked with Elvis Chiweshe, Pasuwa and lately David Mandigora, so all these guys equipped me with some bit of experience which I hope to use in my tenure.”
Ndiraya’s immediate task though is to beat Highlanders in the ZNA Charities Shield final at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
“We played these guys last weekend and we don’t expect anything new from them. We are bracing for the challenge and from what I have seen from my boys they have very strong character, they want to play the game. We will field a strong side. We have new guys (Takesure Chinyama Rodreck Mutuma, Zivanai Mhanda and Richard Kawondera) coming in whom we feel should get more game time so that we ramp up their fitness. We have to win every game so that we have that winning mentality, which is what we want, to retain the confidence in the boys.”
Dynamos would still be without playmaker Ronald Chitiyo and Elisha Muroiwa through injury while Tatenda Mukuruva, Blessing Moyo and Carlos Rusere are away on national duty.
Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu has said he will not field his strongest side, choosing to give the team’s youngsters a chance.
Source : NewsDay