Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
SUNDAY Chidzambwa has leapt to the defence of his assistants, Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo, following their recent sackings at their respective clubs last week.
There were some reports which seemed to paint both Mutasa and Gumbo as terrible coaches not worthy of places in the Warriors technical department on the basis that they have been fired at their clubs.
But Chidzambwa believes the duo are worth their salt and will be key in the senior national side’s quest to secure an African Cup of Nations finals berth next year.
With under two weeks before the Warriors plunge into a potentially decisive Group G back-to-back ties against the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mutasa and Gumbo were sacked by their teams, local giants Dynamos and South Africa’s lower division side Witbank Spurs respectively.
Mutasa was sacrificed for Dynamos’ poor season which has seen the Glamour Boys swimming in the murky waters of relegation.
DeMbare were two points off the drop zone and a dull goalless stalemate against fellow strugglers Bulawayo Chiefs two weeks ago did not help matters and Mutasa was shown the exit 24-hours later.
Incidentally, his Warriors’ co-assistant coach, Gumbo was also booted out at South African National First Division club, Witbank Spurs following a string of poor results.
Gumbo’s side Witbank Spurs had only managed to collect four points after five games in charge of the ambitious Mpumalanga-based side who are third-from-bottom on the log and he was sacked after he had just obtained his South African work permit which would have enabled him to take full charge of the team.
But Chidzambwa has backed his lieutenants and reckons their sacking won’t affect their roles in the senior national team set-up whatsoever.
“It’s not a weird phenomenon to see coaches being fired from their jobs. These things happen in the world of football every minute,” said Chidzabwa.
“To start with, seeing a coach being fired is not something which is strange in the game.
“The most important thing to note is that it’s not always the coach’s problem when things do not go according to plan. There are so many factors at play and you cannot always blame the coach. Unfortunately when things go wrong it is the coach who always gets sacrificed.
“There has to be a scapegoat, the one who is blamed if things go negative.
“It’s not always the coaches who have the problem when teams do not produce the desired results.
“Sometimes even if the coaches are fired, we have always seen teams getting clobbered even worse than when the coaches who would have been fired were still there.
“And the fact that Lloyd (Mutasa) and Rahman (Gumbo) have been fired by their clubs doesn’t change anything in as far as their roles as Warriors assistants are concerned.”
Chidzambwa also said that it will take the experience of both Gumbo and Mutasa to help him steer the Warriors to their fourth appearance at the biannual continental fiesta.
“They remain valuable and I know what they can deliver for our national team. They are some of the few guys whom I know are great when it comes to the job. They have got outstanding work ethic and I hope together we will achieve our set objectives which is to qualify for the AFCON finals in 2019,” Chidzambwa said.
He said Mutasa had to be the sacrificial lamb for Dynamos’ teething problems, but he remains one of the best coaches in the country.
“On the part of Lloyd Mutasa, I don’t think he is to blame for what is happening at Dynamos. He is a great coach and I know any day, he can spur that team to greatness.
“Dynamos are not doing well and face a real danger of being relegated and in as far as I am concerned the problems are far beyond the coaches.
“It’s unfortunate he had to be sacrificed for a spate of poor results recorded by Dynamos.
“But, certainly the problems at that team cannot be the coach.
“As for Rahman Gumbo, I don’t know what is it exactly, but I know his capabilities. I know he is a hard worker and I know he can deliver, but as I have said, when you see a coach being fired it doesn’t mean he is the problem.
“In a nutshell, nothing will change in as far as our set-up as a Warriors technical team is concerned.
“We know that coaches get fired and the fact that the team’s two assistants have been relieved of their duties by their clubs doesn’t mean they are not good enough.”
Zimbabwe play the DRC in Kinshasa on October 13 before hosting the same opponents three days later.
Chidzambwa’s charges are on top of the standings in Group G, courtesy of a superior goal difference as they have the same number of points (four) with DRC.