Manda speaks on sacking

Manda speaks on sacking

MASERU – Former Matlama head coach Charles Manda says he plans to stick around in the country and wait for other coaching opportunities.
Manda was speaking to thepost on Tuesday after being sacked by Matlama on Monday following a surprise 2-0 defeat to Linare in the Vodacom Premier League on Sunday.

Manda was reluctant to comment further on his sacking saying it is part of the coaching profession.
Coaches are hired and sacked, and it is a cycle, he said.
Manda said his termination letter from Matlama said the reason for his firing was the team’s poor performances despite the club winning five of their seven league games this season and only losing two – against Linare and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS).

In their own statement on Tuesday, Matlama said the Malawian coach was sacked because he failed to reach the target he was given.
What his target was after seven games is not revealed in the statement and efforts to get further clarification from the club were unsuccessful.
Manda said he accepts the club’s decision but he hopes Matlama’s next coaches will also be judged on the same grading curve he was.

On paper, 15 points from seven games, with five victories and only two losses, is a record many coaches would be happy with if it were offered to them.
It begs the question whether Manda’s sacking is purely based on the team’s performance or if there is an underlying reason to dismiss him.

“(Matlama’s management) just sent me a letter saying they have terminated my contract because of the performance of the team, maybe they are judging (me) on the two games we have lost,” Manda told thepost.
“They are not judging on the five games we have won, they have their own opinion. I can’t say much after something like this, let (the coming coaches) be judged on what they have judged me against. Life goes on.”

Manda joined Matlama in August 2019 replacing Thabile Secker who left to join Lioli at the time.
Matlama had just won the league title for the first time in a decade but it became clear after first eight games Matlama would not be able to defend their title as they already trailed eventually winners Bantu by eight points.

Despite failure to defend their league title Matlama were still able to celebrate silverware with Manda as they beat Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) 1-0 in the Independence Cup final in November 2019.
To replace Manda ‘Tse Putsoa’ have announced that assistant coach Mothobi Molebatsi will take the reigns until the end of the season. Molebatsi will work with Sello Seholoholo and Mokoena Mohale.

On Sunday, Matlama suffered their second defeat in a row at Setsoto Stadium when they lost to Linare and whispers around Manda’s future immediately started making the rounds after the game.
Manda did not even conduct a post-match interview as he always does. He did one after losing to LMPS last week but he was nowhere to be seen after this one.

By sacking Manda, Matlama appear to be waving the white flag when it comes to winning the Premier League title after only seven games. If ‘Tse Putsoa’ believed they still had a chance of catching Bantu, who are seemingly running away with the title again, then two defeats would not be enough to dismiss their coach.
Bantu are not only unbeaten so far, they are the only team yet to drop points this season. LCS are also yet to lose, but they have dropped four points.

Last season before coronavirus struck and forced the season to be cancelled, Matlama had played 18 games. Manda’s total of league matches in charge over two seasons is 25 games. 14 were victories, seven ended in stalemates and four were defeats.
In the 25 games Matlama scored a total of 43 goals while conceding 18.

In recent times cup games have not gone in Matlama’s favour either. Last year they were surprisingly beaten in the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) Top 4 and Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 tournaments which went to Lifofane and Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) respectively.

What’s next for Manda?
For now he plans stay in the country with the hope another coaching post will come up.
With jobs constantly appearing during the season Manda may get something.

With his record at Matlama which many believe is respectable, he may also well do well at another team. Perhaps a smaller one.
As for Matlama, this season may now just be about fighting for a top four finish and a title challenge may be beyond ‘Tse Putsoa’ already.
Only time will tell how Matlama’s new three-man coaching team fares.

Tlalane Phahla

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