By Paul Mundandi
DYNAMOS captain Murape Murape says Callisto Pasuwa has earned his stripes as the Glamour Boys’ coach and should be allowed to plot securing a hat-trick of league titles without pressure from people who do not understand what it takes to be in that hot seat.
Pasuwa has come under sustained pressure from a section of the club’s fans and members of his executive and board of directors, after a lifeless start to the defence of their league title in which DeMbare drew all their five matches.
A poor Champions League run, in which DeMbare surrendered meekly at the hands of CA Bizertin of Tunisia, did not help matters either and two weeks ago Pasuwa was summoned to a crisis meeting by the club’s leadership and given three games to save his job.
A last-gasp equaliser from Partson Jaure stole a point from Highlanders in a tense Battle of Zimbabwe at Rufaro while on Sunday DeMbare powered to their first league victory of the season when they beat newboys Tripple B at Mandava in Zvishavane.
Jaure and former CAPS United skipper Washington Pakamisa were on target for Dynamos.
Murape said Pasuwa has earned the right to coach the team that he played for and the pressure exerted by those who want instant results was uncalled for, especially against a background where he lost three key players – Denver Mukamba, Rodreck Mutuma and Simba Sithole – during the off-season.
Murape, the longest-serving player at DeMbare who once shared the dressing room with Pasuwa, said their victory against Tripple B was for their coach.
“We played the game against Tripple B for our coach Pasuwa,” said Murape. “People were saying negative things about him but I just want to assure our fans that he is a good coach. He won the league twice and the Mbada Diamonds cup twice. Every player was fighting for him.”
One such player was Pakamisa who was recruited by Pasuwa, during the off-season, for his experience but had struggled to make a smooth transition from moving from CAPS United to Dynamos.
Pakamisa silenced some of the critics by scoring the opening goal and then raced to hug his coach Pasuwa and assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya to thank them for the confidence they have invested in him. The whole DeMbare team raced to the bench and joined in the celebrations.
Murape said there was need for patience.
“I am just appealing to our fans and the executive to have patience,” said Murape.
“We have an unbeaten run in the Premiership and all we want is to maintain it. The sky is the limit for us and results have started coming and we are going to maintain our form. I was happy that we managed to collect maximum points after going through a bad patch.
“I had the belief that we were one day going to win and it just happened. God will never forsake us. The result came at the right time when we are going to face FC Platinum who are on top of the log. We need to beat them to maintain our championship status and we are definitely going to do that on Wednesday for us to be champions again.”
Ugandan international, Boban Zirintusa, has fitted well in his favourited role, playing behind the strikers, and was unlucky not to have scored when his effort missed the target by inches in the 78th minute.
The Class of 2013 needed a neutral venue to collect their first set of maximum points after failing to do that at their fortress at Rufaro where they were even held by lowly Triangle.
DeMbare team manager, Richard Chihoro, said the Glamour Boys just went through a rough patch but he was confident they will rise and show their quality once again in the coming weeks.
He said it was a measure of their quality that even when they were having a poor run, no team was good enough to beat them and he believes a victory over FC Platinum at Rufaro tomorrow will put his side on the right track.
“In football there is what we call a bad spell, and we hope that is now past us and we will now continue with winning ways,” said Chihoro. “It would be an exciting game, and we hope we will build from the Sunday’s match where the team really played well and could have even won with a 3-0 margin.”
The manager said they were not worried that their strikers are not getting a lot of goals for the team and believes scoring was a responsibility for everyone in the side.
Defender Jaure was again on target at Mandava to take his tally in the league to two goals in as many matches to add to the goal he scored in the Champions League. Pakamisa became only the second forward to score for DeMbare in the league this season.
Patrick Khumbula was the first and it means that the two goals scored by the Dynamos forwards have all come in Zvishavane. Khumbula scored against Shabanie in a drawn tie at Maglas.
Given that FC Platinum are also from Zvishavane, it’s dangerous to bet against the DeMbare forwards not getting on the scoresheet tomorrow.
“We cannot be worried that the strikers are not getting goals for us. But we actually want everyone to be involved and we want all the players to score goals for the team and not just wait for the strikers to deliver,” said Chihoro.