Malesela’s termination as coach closing in, Chippa optimistic to avoid PSL relegation

BY MARC JACOBSON - MAY 3, 2017
Malesela’s termination as coach closing in, Chippa optimistic to avoid PSL relegation

Dan Malesela’s tenure as coach of Chippa United closed in on Monday, when the termination draft was applied and is now just awaiting signatures from the club’s management for the finalisation of his departure.

Taking over from Roger Sikhakhane in December 2015, Malesela’s separation was called out as a result of 11 straight winless games in the ABSA Premiership, which has now to this point collapsed the Chilli Boys to the relegation red zone.

It was not all doom and gloom, however, as Malesela was still able to guide his charges to the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, while finishing sixth in the PSL in 2016. 2017’s campaign decisively did the talking though in the meek late form, where the coach is set to get the chop.

As of last week Wednesday, he was put on ‘special leave’ for the pending of his termination and Mbuyiselo Sambu has been appointed the caretaker coach since.

In the same space, the Chilli Boys, who were reduced to 10 players, suffered yet another disappointing 2-1 loss at the feet of the Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

The last time Chippa tasted victory in the PSL was against the second-last placed Baroka FC in their first league game of 2017, but interim coach Sambu remains calm and optimistic in their approach moving forward.

“The pressure is mounting but then we just have to keep our heads up and manage the situation without having to push the panic buttons,” Sambu told KickOff.

“Otherwise we won’t have the right minds to make sure that we get things right. But we really have to make sure that we get the results that we need so that we get out of the situation,” Sambu said.

“Only if we can also work so hard in our defensive organisation I think we have a chance of getting out of this situation.”

Regarding Samu’s interim term, he said “We sat with the management and the decision was taken that we finish the games that are remaining. My position is just to make sure that we keep things tight and make sure that we get the results that we need.”

Long-serving Chilli Boys’ forward, Andile Mbenyane, said that he was unfazed by the change in coaching nearing the end of the current season, as he personally has been under the charge of 17 different coaches since joining the club in 2009, and as a result has learnt to adapt accordingly.

“The thing of changing coaches is not a problem to us as players because we players we still have to play,” said Mbenyana in the light of Malesela’s departure.

“We are not doing this for the coaches, the coaches do play their role because we depend on them but sometimes they do their job at training and when it comes to the day of the match we must do our job,” added Mbenyana.

Malesela, has since reportedly been linked for a move to Polokwane City, where the club has, according to a close source, made contact with him. 

"There has been contact. There is a possibility that the deal could go through now or at the end of the season," the source said.