BLACK Leopards’ performance will improve under Joel Masutha.
That is the view of club spokesman Berry Ramunenyiwa, who confirmed that Masutha was handed the reins to guide Lidoda Duvha following the sacking of Ivan Minnaert last week.
Minnaert was shown the door after only being in charge for five games in which he managed to collect eight points out of a possible 15.
Leopards’ failure to gain promotion to the Absa Premiership in the promotion/relegation play-offs in June seems to have affected players mentally as they have found it difficult to recover from the setback.
This was the third time Leopards have tried – and failed – to make a return to the top flight via the play-offs.
When the 2017-18 campaign started, a lot was expected from the Venda outfit but the struggles continued, the team failing to repeat the form that saw Leopards finish second in the National First Division last season.
Masutha, who joins them from Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila where he was team manager, is the third coach to take charge of Leopards this season.
Ramunenyiwa believes there’s something wrong at the club but is not able to pinpoint what it is.
“When times are tough, coaches request to leave the club. The first 15 games were not easy, but when things are okay we will win our matches,” said Ramunenyiwa.
“We need to fix this situation before it is too late. Masutha will bring change, he has been here before. He is familiar with the culture of the club.
“We have been in worse positions than we are now.”
Lidoda Duvha went into the Christmas break in 10th position with 18 points.
SunSport has learnt that Masutha will be assisted by former player Morgan Shivhambu. But Ramunenyiwa was not able to confirm this. He said: “The board is still looking for his assistant.”