HERENTALS coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva believes Benjani Mwaruwari was not given enough time to prove himself before being sacked as Ngezi Platinum Stars coach.

The ambitious Mhondoro-Ngezi-based club pulled the plug on the Warriors legend last month less than 90 days into his four-year contract following a poor run of results.

Mutiwekuziva, whose side travels to Mhondoro this weekend for a Chibuku Super Cup first round match, feels Mwaruwari should have been given more time. “It’s unfortunate that he lost his job after such a short period of time. He needed time to adapt to the Zimbabwe premier league football and study his players. I feel he was not given the time to carry out his plan,” Mutiwekuziva said.

Ngezi ran out of patience with Mwaruwari after he dropped points against some teams considered ‘small’ in the league.

In his last four matches in charge, he managed to pick two points from a possible 12, including a 3-0 drubbing by Herentals,while a 1-0 loss to Yadah on July 25, was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

“They should have let him see through the season at the very least. You could see what he was trying to do with the project but unfortunately, he didn’t have the chance to see it through. He didn’t have the time to show his value.”

Turning on to Saturday’s Chibuku Super Cup first round clash set for Baobab Stadium, Mutiwekuziva said he was confident that his side will prevail and progress through to the quarterfinals of the competition. The club’s target, he said, was to lift the cup this year.

“Winning cups is very important for this club. It will show that we are growing as a club. This is a good opportunity for us so we want to perform well up to the final. We are capable of winning the tournament but we will
need to work hard,” Mutiwekuziva said.

Herentals failed to progress past the group stage last year.

But their coach has vowed to do better this time around.

“Preparations are going on very well and we are geared up for the match. Our target is to progress to the next stage. It’s good to win in such knockout competitions because we know the games will be tougher than league games.”

The two clubs met last month in the league, with the Harare side winning the match convincingly, which proved to be the start of Mwaruwari’s downfall.

“They are a different side now, under a different technical team set-up so we expect a totally different match,” Mutiwekuziva reckons.

“We know they will be out for revenge and their new coach has something to prove, but we should be able to resist.”

The Harare side will go into the battle with their confidence high following a good run in the league, which Mutiwekuziva attributes to the good remuneration that the players are getting.

“The administration side is doing well in terms of motivating the players. They are happy and it shows on the field of play.”

The Students are unbeaten in their last five matches during which they won twice and drawn the rest.

In contrast, Ngezi are looking to bounce back to winning ways after they were beaten by Cranborne Bullets in the league last week.

Chibuku Super Cup first round fixtures

Saturday: Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve), FC Platinum v Tenax (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Caps United (Vengere), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Herentals (Baobab)

Sunday: Bulawayo Chiefs v ZPC Kariba (Luveve), Manica Diamonds v Yadah (Vengere), Dynamos v Whawha (National Sports Stadium), Triangle v Highlanders (Gibbo)

Source Newsday