By Mabvuto Kambuwe and Mphatso Malidadi
Pressure is mounting on Nyasa Big Bullets Coach, Kallisto Pasuwa, due to the team’s two consecutive defeats in different competitions.
Bullets lost 3-4 on post-match penalties to Kenya’s Gor Mahia in a Caf Champions League preliminary round second leg match played on Wednesday, before losing 2-0 to Silver Strikers in the Fisd Challenge Cup semi-final at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on Sunday.
Pasuwa is in the final stretch of his two-and-half month contract after taking over from Rodgers Yasini and Elia Kananji.
Bullets sacked Yasini and Kananji after the team’s Carlsberg Cup semi-final exit saying, despite then being unbeaten and leading in the TNM Super League, the duo had failed to meet the target of winning at least two trophies.
Now some fans are reportedly unhappy with the Zimbabwean’s style of play, which has led to Bullets struggling in most games.
The fans voiced out their concerns in Lilongwe on Sunday when they called for Kananji’s recall.
In a post-match interview on Sunday, the Zimbabwean said he did not know if Bullets’ management would extend his contract.
“It will be up to management to decide on my contract. We still have some games to finish the season and our focus is on winning the remaining games so that we can win the league title,’’ Pasuwa told the press in Lilongwe.
Since he took over, Bullets have lost three out of nine games in all competitions.
Under Pasuwa’s reign, Bullets suffered the first Super League loss of the season, 1-0 to Masters Security at Dedza Stadium.
Bullets Director of Technical, Malinda Chinyama, yesterday said they are investigating the team’s recent performance so as to get to the bottom of the issue.
“We can’t rush to fire him before we establish the root cause. So, we are investigating what could be the factors contributing to the poor run. We can’t speculate whether it is sabotage or not. I will be coming with a report by early next week,” he said.
Chinyama said it was unfair for those calling for reinstatement of Yasini and Kananji, saying they also had their problems.
When unveiling Pasuwa, Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Fleetwood Haiya, told the press that they hired the former Zimbabwe mentor to win Fisd Challenge Cup and qualify for the Champions League group stages.
But soccer analyst, Higger Mkandawire, said Pasuwa, who won four back-to-back Zimbabwe league titles with Dynamos, should be given time to deliver.
“Pasuwa can be a good coach, only that he has had little time to know Bullets’ culture and type of players in the team so that they can cope with his formula. He is working under pressure to bring results to the team. It is very difficult for a coach to find a team in the middle of the season and win games or cups,” Mkandawire said.
With three games to wind up the season, Bullets lead the log table with 64 points from 27 games followed by Be Forward Wanderers on 59 points from 28 games. Silver are third with 56 points from 29 games.