Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DESPERATE Dynamos have engaged former midfielder Philemon Mutyakureva in negotiations to take over the reins at the club in their fight to stay afloat following the sacking of Lloyd Mutasa yesterday.
Dynamos finally lost patience with Mutasa and gave him the boot for the second time this season and third in his coaching career at the ailing Harare giants.
The club’s chiefs recalled juniors coach Lloyd Chigowe to take interim charge of the team ahead of their tough Premiership away assignment against champions FC Platinum at Mandava on Saturday.
Chigowe will be assisted by his deputy in the Under-17 side and former club captain Murape Murape.
But it emerged that DeMbare’s main target is Mutyakureva.
Mutyakureva, who was assistant coach to Callisto Pasuwa for three of the four trailblazing seasons when the Glamour Boys last won the league title, is tipped to take over the job with the mandate to save the side from sinking into relegation.
Close sources yesterday said talks to bring back Mutyakureva as head coach and goalkeeper specialist Ephraim Mazarura were almost complete, with the pair expected to officially commence duties on Monday.
Mutasa and his assistant coach Joseph Takaringofa, who was barely been a month into the job, were shown the exit following a miserable run in this year’s campaign.
Goalkeepers’ coach Zondai Nyaungwa, Mutasa’s trusted lieutenant, was also kicked out but team manager Richard Chihoro survived the purge.
The writing has always been on the wall for Mutasa and Wednesday’s goalless home draw against newboys Bulawayo Chiefs, which dragged the team deeper in the relegation mix, was the final straw.
This is the second time this year that the former midfielder has been fired by the Glamour Boys because of poor results.
Mutasa was sacked by the previous executive led by Kenny Mubaiwa in June this year, but the club’s board of directors overturned the decision.
However, Mutasa only managed three wins from 11 games since his return and with relegation becoming a strong possibility, the Dynamos executive yesterday wielded the axe on the coach.
It is the third time that the Warriors assistant has been fired at Dynamos, having been axed in 2011 before DeMbare went on a trailblazing run under Mutasa’s successor Callisto Pasuwa during which they won four successive championships. Ironically Dynamos have not met with any success since Pasuwa’s departure and the former Warriors coach has snubbed overtures for him to return to the club.
Dynamos chairman Isaiah Mupfurutsa yesterday said his leadership had given the coach the space and support he needed in the hope of seeing a turnaround of fortunes.
But with the season now approaching its business end, the Harare giants find themselves jostling for survival alongside teams like Bulawayo Chiefs, Nichrut, Yadah and Chapungu.
Dynamos are currently 13th on the log standings with 31 points from 27 starts. The executive felt the situation had reached unacceptable levels, hence the decision to pull the plug.
“I think you are all aware that Dynamos is sitting in a position that is not usual to it. It’s a position which is not acceptable and it’s a very embarrassing position.
“The technical team which was there was given enough space, enough time and enough resources for it to perform.
“The players that are in the Dynamos squad, all of them, were registered basing on his (Mutasa’s) recommendation. He actually attracted these players and the club was simply awarding whatever the coaches recommended.
“The same applies to the technical team. The assistant who was there was his choice. The executive has never involved itself in team selection. It has never involved in whatever decision that has to do with the team in terms of preparations and performance except whatever they requested.
“I think what is availed to the club is sufficient enough (to cater for all the basic requirements). We have got a sponsor (Netone) who is paying the salaries that are all up to date for the players. We have got a sponsor (Nyaradzo) that is giving us transport.
“But with all these resources available, the results still were not coming. We can’t really say he is not a good coach but I think it was just not his time, it was not his year and we felt that we needed to do something about it, probably change the voice in the dressing room and this is what we have done exactly,” said Mupfurutsa.
The incoming technical team have another tough test awaiting them as the rescheduled Harare Derby against CAPS United is also still on the cards.
They will also play Black Rhinos, Herentals, Triangle and Mutare City in Harare and then travel to Nichrut for the last match of the season at Ascot.
Mupfurutsa said Mutasa had left them in a difficult position.
The former midfielder led Dynamos to a credible second place finish in the Castle Lager Premiership race last season.
However, both the coach and the team have failed to reproduce the same feat.
The DeMbare executive is still confident of Chigowe and Murape can steer the team out of danger.
“We still have got seven games to go and if this works out you might be surprised Dynamos finishing in a position that you may not have thought about.
“We are confident that this is possible and we are also confident of this technical team and of course the executive as well.
“Challenges are there in life. Dynamos is a big institution which has too much pressure but when you see us arriving at a decision we would have done our homework.
“The time now for us is to be united as a family. We need to push our boys together with the supporters and everyone involved with Dynamos.
“With that kind of push I know the boys will do it. Remember these are the same boys who finished second last year. There are only one or two losses in terms of those who left. So if they did it last year, they can also do it this year,” said Mupfurutsa.
Chigowe, elevated to the senior team when Mutasa was first sacked, said he was looking forward to stepping up to the task.
“Dynamos is the biggest football institution in the country and obviously it comes with a lot of pressure. We believe that someone has to take responsibility, try to turn things around and have the team survive to fight another day,” said Chigowe.