AFTER a tempestuous week that saw coach Lloyd Mutasa getting sacked in a move that left the players and some supporters disillusioned, Dynamos begin the journey to save their season with a tough trip to league champions FC Platinum this afternoon.
BY HENRY MHARA
Mutasa was shown the exit door on Thursday following a string of poor results, where the Harare giants currently sit one point above the relegation cut-off point, and with a real possibility of demotion to Division One at the end of the season.
Former club junior coach Lloyd Chigowe was appointed interim coach for the remainder of the season, where he has seven matches to try and save the situation.
He will be assisted by club legend and long-serving player in their history ,Murape Murape.
Ahead of this afternoon’s match at Mandava Stadium, Murape, who has worked in the team’s technical team structures before, admitted it has been a disappointing season, and says focus must turn towards saving the team from relegation.
The former veteran midfielder said despite being thrown into the deep end, he was excited to be back at the club that gave him fame.
He admits they have a difficult task ahead, and has called on the club’s stakeholders to pull in one direction, saying that is their only chance to survive relegation.
“It’s good to be back, and we are here because of the love and respect that we have for Dynamos. The team is in a difficult situation, something that we would not have wanted, but what can we do? We can’t refuse when the call of duty comes.
“It’s a huge task ahead of us. But we have seven matches to make sure that the team can stay in the league. It won’t be an easy task, but we are taking the bull by its horns. We are looking forward to the challenge with so much hope,” Murape said.
“We have to be united; the players, coaches, executive, the board and supporters, everyone who is associated with Dynamos. This is not the time to try and point fingers for what has happened. What is needed now is unity, discipline and to support each other. We have to fight from one corner and that’s the only way we can achieve results. The club has been successful over the years because we have been united especially the supporters and the players.
“That is the challenge that we need to put on ourselves, to say we should not be individualistic. The players should play for Dynamos, because we have a situation right now where we have some little camps within the family. That has been a problem and it’s an area that we need to address as soon as possible. My role is to make sure that everyone is together. Things are not well, so I’m not asking for unity from the stakeholders, but demanding . Everyone should show commitment to play their part. That’s our rallying call.”
Some critics have questioned the quality of players at Dynamos this season, which they say are not good enough to don the famous blue and white stripes. But Murape does not agree.
“For the players to be here shows they deserved to be here. They worked hard to be here; and they wanted to be here, that’s my belief. Most of them have the temperament and talent to play for the team. It’s just a mindset that needs to change. With what we have, we should be able to come out of the situation that we are in. These are the same players that were here last season when the team almost won the league title. That alone should tell you that the talent is there.”
As the team lurched from one bad result to another, attendances at their matches have drastically dwindled. Murape has a message for the disillusioned fans.
“The supporters should come and support the team in their numbers. Staying away and hoping that the team gets relegated won’t help anyone. If that happens, who is going to suffer? We are all going to suffer whether you are a player, a coach or the supporter. It’s not healthy for the club. Let’s unite for these remaining games and make sure that we remain in the Premier League and sort out other issues from a good standing. It’s now time to get our hands and heads together and fight for one cause.”
Turning to this afternoon’s match, the 38-year-old is optimistic about the team’s chances against the defending champions and league leaders, who are looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to Triangle in a midweek game that saw their lead at the top cut to just two points.
“For Dynamos, anytime is the right time to meet anyone. We are not afraid of them. They have been doing well, but we are not worried about that. We are going there to fight, and we would want to turn our season at the home of the champions. We are going there to try and come out with a positive result. Dynamos will rise, and we can conquer any situation. We are not going there just to fulfil the match, but to play to win.”
Defeat could be catastrophic for both teams in this match. If Dynamos lose, they could find themselves in the relegation zone by the end of the weekend. As for FC Platinum, another defeat, and they are likely to lose the top spot to Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match day 29 fixtures
Today: Black Rhinos v Triangle United (National Sports Stadium), Harare City v Chicken Inn (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Dynamos (Mandava), Bulawayo City v Ngezi Platinum (Barbourfields)
Tomorrow: Caps United v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), Chapungu v Shabanie Mine (Ascot), Herentals v Mutare City (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Nichrut (Luveve)
Monday: Yadah v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro)