Caretaker coach benches Ngele in his first game
Supersport United officially parted ways with head coach Eric Tinkler this past Friday following a dismal run of results. The Pretoria outfit announced that the termination of his contract was a mutual decision.
Supersport had only three wins in 21 games prompting the club to review the coach’s position and eventually part ways with him. The poor form had seen the three time PSL champions languishing in the bottom half of the table and edging closer to the relegation zone.
Tinkler was solely responsible for bringing Sundowns star Mogakolodi Ngele on loan on the last day of the January transfer window, he pulled off a transfer that had seemed impossible as Ngele had turned down his boyhood club Orlando Pirates and his old club Platinum Stars in order to fight for his place at Sundowns.
The lure of first team football, as promised by Tinkler, was very appealing to Ngele as he finally joined United. Now that the man who brought him to the club has gone it remains to be seen if Ngele will cope with the demands of a new coach.
Ngele had played in five out of six games in Tinkler’s tenure with a return of 1 goal, he had developed into an important member of the team and Tinkler was once quoted stating that a player of Ngele’s quality would greatly improve them.
Kaitano Tembo has been appointed as the interim coach and the earliest indication is that Ngele could have to be patient to win back his starting place in the line up. Ngele was on the bench this past weekend in Tembo’s first match in a 0-0 draw against Maritzburg United, he did not get an opportunity to play a part in the game as the club dropped points once again.
Coaching changes have affected Ngele in the past during his time in the PSL, the departure of Cavin Johnson from Platinum Stars saw Ngele settle for a limited role under Alan Freese. Freese favoured Robert Ng’ambi in the role behind the main striker, he even benched Ngele for the 2013 Telkom Knockout final but Ngele responded by scoring a brace off the bench to secure the trophy for Stars.
A year later Ngele was on the bench again in the Telkom Knockout final against Supersport United, this time Stars lost but Ngele was on the score sheet again. The player, Ngele, loves a challenging situation and has always thrived in difficult situations, only time will tell if he will convince Tembo of a regular starting berth for Supersport.