I have no fear, says Masutha
New Chilli Boys mentor up for the challenge
Newly appointed caretaker coach Joel Masutha will not be looking over his shoulder in his attempts to resurrect Chippa United’s flagging fortunes.
Masutha was brought into the camp to replace the axed Eric Tinkler and has the unenviable task of getting the Chilli Boys out of the relegation zone.
Tinkler was shown the door on Sunday after a string of poor results, with Chippa failing to win in six attempts.
They occupy second-last position on the log and are only one point ahead of stragglers Black Leopards.
The Venda-born coach is aware he has a huge task on his hands in helping Chippa avoid the big chop this season.
Masutha is not new to the Chilli Boys’ stable – he served as the late Roger Sikhakhane’s assistant coach in 2014.
He will be aware of chair Siviwe Mpengesi’s tendency to hire and fire coaches.
“I am going into the job with a thick skin.
“I am not afraid of anything, because once you are afraid, you will never do your best,” he said.
“You will always look over your shoulder,” Masutha told The Herald on Monday.
“I have to go there [to Chippa] and work the normal way.
“Also, if you try and motivate these boys and treat them like stars, they will give you what you want.
“It is comforting coming into a team that I have coached before because we never parted on a bad note.
“I still believe we are a family,” the former Black Leopards coach said.
Masutha was confident he would get the job done.
“I believe I am a person, who can handle tough situations,” he said.
“Last season, when I took over at Black Leopards, we moved from 13th position to second on the NFD table. We ended up in the PSL playoffs.
“Yes, things are not going to go smoothly all the time, but when the going gets tough, that is when you have to be strong and rise above any situation.”
Masutha is already plotting the way forward and says he has a few tricks up his sleeve.
“I think most of Chippa’s first-half performances have not been good, but they would come back in the second half and play very well. So, they were unlucky not to get some good results in some games.
“I believe we need to increase the intensity in the first half. They should also play with no fear right from the start of the match and not wait for someone to make a mistake,” he said.
“We need to try and understand each other. I think the boys will like me. I am not coming here with an iron rod. I am coming here as a brother who wants people to enjoy football and win games.
“I am grateful to the chair for giving me this chance.
“This is not all about me, the boys are the ones who are on the pitch.
“These are stressful times but being under pressure gives me the edge to perform at my best,” Masutha said.
“The only thing is to try and keep one’s frustrations away from the players and to keep one’s cool so that they might even forget that they are in the relegation zone.”
Masutha arrived in Port Elizabeth late on Monday and will be meeting with his players on Tuesday.
He will make his debut as head coach on Tuesday next week when Chippa travel to Cape Town City for a league clash.