Chippa United have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their crucial Premier Soccer League fixture against Soweto giants Orlando Pirates today (kickoff 8.15pm).
The Chilli Boys will be without head coach Dan Malesela, who on Wednesday was placed on “special leave”.
Chippa confirmed yesterday that assistant coach Mbuyiselo Sambu would be at the helm in the interim.
Malesela’s absence comes at a crucial time, with Chippa in desperate need of points. This is despite their good run in the Nedbank Cup, having reached the semifinals of the competition.
Chippa have been struggling to win matches in the league. The last time the team tasted victory was in February, against Baroka.
The Port Elizabeth side will be looking to break their nine-match winless deadlock against the Buccaneers.
Tuesday night’s defeat against Maritzburg United marked their eleventh loss so far in the season. They have won only five games and drawn eight.
Chippa are only two points away from the relegation. A win tonight could ease some pressure on the players.
But most importantly a victory could also boost their confidence going towards the end of the season.
However, the Buccaneers will not lie back and let Chippa walk all over them. They are also on a race of their own.
A win could see them break into the top eight of the league, depending on other results. They are in ninth position on the log with 28 points from 24 games.
They have gone two matches without a win after their 2-0 defeat by Maritzburg.