In a bizarre turn of events, Dan Malesela said yesterday he was returning to Chippa United as coach after the club had placed him on special leave last month due to poor results.
In an act of desperation, club management recalled Malesela this weekend to perform a Houdini act and save the team from relegation with only two matches to play.
“Yes, I am coming back to PE,” Malesela said just before his flight to the Bay from OR Tambo International Airport yesterday.
“It’s not important how my return to Chippa came about. I am coming back, not really to help but to fix the situation.”
Chippa next play SuperSport United on Wednesday after going down 1-0 to struggling Highlands Park on Friday night.
The result saw Chippa drop to second last on the log with 24 points from 28 games.
They are level on points with last-placed Baroka, but have a superior goal difference. Their final match of the season is away to Free State Stars.
Malesela said the request from the club to come back did not come as a shock. But he had to think long and hard before he made his decision to come back.
“There were a lot of considerations that I needed to make and discussions with my family. I also had to sit and discuss this issue with my manager, if it was okay or not.”
Asked if he would be able to save the Chilli Boy’s from going down, Malesela replied: “I have been in situations like this before, where I was able to help many clubs.
“I have a feeling that something can be done. We just need to be careful how we deal with the games that are coming up.
“It’s a very sticky situation, but we need to be very careful how we approach it.”
The coach believes mental strength will count if Chippa are to get the points to survive relegation.