CAPE TOWN - Swallows FC assistant coach Simo Dladla has clarified the current managerial situation at the club after head coach Brandon Truter was placed on “special leave” ahead of the MTN8 second-leg semi-final against Cape Town City on Wednesday.
Dladla has been put in charge for three matches, which included last Friday’s Dstv Premiership clash against CT City, the MTN8 semi against the same opposition, and the upcoming weekend clash against Mamelodi Sundowns.
“Coach Brendon had a lengthy meeting with the club management and after that I was called in to be told of the board decision that I must take control of a few games. It was taken across to everyone,” Dladla told reporters on Tuesday.
“People were shocked, people were surprised. So, you can imagine it was a difficult task to get everyone on board in terms of the way forward. But the past few training sessions, the players really want to make a difference. Everyone realises we have a problem, we are not winning games, so everyone is fitting in and trying to move the team in the right direction.”
It seemed that Dladla and Truter may have different ideas in how to turn things around at Swallows, who have not scored a goal in five consecutive matches, after yet another goalless draw with City last Friday, but the former Richards Bay coach was quick to point that everyone is on the same page at the Dube Birds.
“I have a very good working relationship with coach Brandon. Obviously, I am supporting him as a first-assistant, his ideas, his methods. I have a different way of doing things as a person, but that does not say that we did not share the same ideas in terms of how we see the game.
“It is just the behaviour in certain moments on the ball, off the ball, and in the final third. That’s what I meant by me trying to get my ideas across. We need to be arrogant on the ball, we need to boss the game, we need numbers on defence. That’s what I meant. But in essence we have a very good relationship, and of course, as his assistant I support what he does.”
With both Swallows and City being particularly shy in-front of goal this season – the Citizens have also failed to score in their last three matches – the potential of a penalty shootout to separate these two teams could be on the cards.
Dladla, though, does not envisage this scenario as he is preparing his team to face an offensive onslaught from the Citizens.
“I expect Cape Town City to come at us. In the last game they were a bit reserved, especially when they were in possession. They did not really press us. They were waiting to catch us on the counter. They only left Fagrie Lakay up there to catch us on the break because of his speed,” he said.