Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter
TWO days after watching his Nico United charges go down 2-1 at the hands of Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu’s mentored Masitaoka in the Botswana Premiership week eleven encounter played at Molepolole Sports Complex on Saturday, Nico United coach Philani ‘Beefy” Ncube was handed a two weeks suspension for unspecified reasons.
The two Zimbabwean coaches were facing each other for the first time in Botswana since moving to the neighbouring country at the start of the 2022/23 season in August last year.
It was a tie in which Masitaoka had to dig deep into their bag of tricks to come from a goal down and post a win against Ncube’s charges who have been struggling to post positive results.
“Nico Management wishes to inform its members, supporters, well-wishers and the public that it has taken a resolution to suspend Head Coach Mr Philani Ncube from his duties for 14 days with immediate effect,” read part of the statement.
The club said in the interim Monametsi Kelebale will lead the team, assisted by Mpho Akanyang while Peter Muchina will assume the role of technical advisor.”
With his club finding it hard to grind out wins or at least draws, what could have also prompted Ncube’s suspension was his choice of words in a post interview after being tactically outsmarted by his fellow countryman Mpofu.
In a post-match interview, Ncube said: “One thing for sure, we came prepared and did what we could do. We didn’t come out with three points and I’m still asking myself how our first goal was disallowed but I will have to take it as one of the moments of the game.
But all the two goals (they conceded), we lacked the basic work. In the first place a mature goalkeeper was not supposed to concede that stupid corner kick. At the same time, he was not supposed to concede that second goal.”
The former Bulawayo City, How Mine and Harare City coach added: “I have to accept the result as it is. I have to accept the mistakes as they are and go back to the drawing board.
Besides that, the last goal, in the last action of the game, we missed several chances, we had better chances. It’s a worry that we are heading down south on the log. We are playing boys without experience.
“We don’t have experienced players but we will soldier on and I think we are not that bad that we can be deemed relegation material. But what is important is experience and people should be very patient with this team because it is a new kid on the block.
We need to be very patient because these guys were playing Division One football.
You can see their decision making, it is very erratic. This is football, that’s the work of the coach but what is very important is to have patience from supporters and patience from administration. Even if they fire me today, do you think they will get a coach who will come and change everything? What should I do when a goalkeeper does that? Should I go and become a goalkeeper?”
United have managed only one win in the last 10 games, with five draws and four losses.- @ FungaiMuderere