Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS assistant coach Gift “Úmbro’’ Muzadzi yesterday said he was hoping for a quick resolution to the impasse which led to the suspension of head coach Tonderai Ndiraya.
Ndiraya, who was barred from conducting his duties by club management, missed the better part of the week when the Castle Lager Premiership football giants were preparing for their upcoming match against Herentals set for the National Sports Stadium this Sunday.
Muzadzi and Naison Muchekela took charge in Ndiraya’s absence. A hearing was scheduled to take place yesterday as the DeMbare management sought to iron out their differences with the coach in the backdrop of mounting pressure from the club’s fans and other stakeholders.
Naturally, the news about the coach’s suspension had an impact on the team but Muzadzi, who has worked with Ndiraya for many years, yesterday said steps were taken to keep the squad focused.
“In life, if you get separated with one member of the family obviously there is bound to be some worried faces and stuff but at the same time, he is not fired.
“Even the team management also said he is still the head coach. He is just suspended, so it’s a different ball game altogether. It’s like the players who can also get suspended for two or three games and still come back.
“So he is just on suspension, which can be lifted even today or tomorrow. So we are expecting and we are also hoping that they can sit down and clear all the issues so that he comes back to work and finishes the job we started together.
“I think we are all adults and we know things like these happen in life. We spoke to the players and we tried to show them that this is not the end of the world, the coach is still around. We were trying to psyche them up so that they don’t get distracted.
“I think the boys are ready and everyone is looking forward to a positive outcome when they sit down,” said Muzadzi.
Ndiraya’s suspension came as a shock to many since the Dynamos management were reluctant to discuss the circumstances.
At the time of his suspension, he had presided over 15 league matches this season, garnering 30 out of a possible 45 points. DeMbare are just a point behind leaders Chicken Inn, with just two rounds of matches before the season reaches the halfway point.
Ndiraya was last month voted Coach of the Month as DeMbare were unbeaten in nine straight league outings until their last match against Bosso that was abandoned due to crowd trouble, with the Bulawayo giants leading 1-0.
Muzadzi also appealed to the supporters to rally behind the team during the current impasse.
“Everyone was worried about what was going on,” he said.
“The supporters are our main stakeholders, truly speaking, but I think there is going to be a positive outcome and the coach will be back.
“The supporters mustn’t lose hope or give up on the team. I think it was just a misunderstanding between the management and the head coach and I don’t think it will be a very big issue because we are adults and we are very professional and we have experience in football. At times we don’t agree on certain things and at the same time that can bring the team down.”
DeMbare will go into the match on Sunday looking to bounce back to winning ways. Their last game against Highlanders was abandoned due to crowd trouble at Barbourfields while they were trailing 0-1.
Previously they had given away a winning position after conceding a last minute goal in the 1-1 draw against Bulawayo City at the National Sports Stadium.
“We are very much concerned. Every coach wants to win every game but in football you can’t win them all. The most important thing is are you getting at least a point or you are losing all the points? For us it’s two games without a win.
“I think the one which we lost was abandoned in Bulawayo and I don’t know what they (PSL) are going to say about the game.
“But I think we have regrouped. That break gave us an advantage and I think on Sunday everyone will be ready for the game,” said Muzadzi.
Defenders Brendon Mpofu and Tino Muringai are still out due to injuries. Star winger Bill Antonio will not be available due to suspension after picking a red card in the last game against Highlanders.
“Every coach wants his best player on the field of play but with what happened I think the guy who is going to replace Bill must also deliver.
“It’s a big blow to the team, of course, but we have 30 players in the squad. So those guys who didn’t get the chance when Bill was playing also have to show themselves when given the opportunity. I don’t think it will be a very big problem.
“The replacement only has to take over from where Bill left off,” said Muzadzi.