The pressure was just unbearable for coach Stuart Mbolembole that he had to quit as Mighty Wanderers coach in only the first game of the season after the 0-2 loss to TNM Super League defending champions Silver Strikers at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.
Dressed in a blue tracksuit and appearing calm and composed, Mbolembole dropped the bombshell to his charges in a post-match talk at the stadium then later to club vice-general secretary Chris Kananji and first vice-chairperson Alex Machila and executive committee member Chulu Mkangama.
Apparently, Nomads management’s efforts to persuade him to reconsider his decision did not yield anything.
“I told them that I had reached a point whereby I could not go on. I had to take a bow considering the circumstances.
“The decision was not made out of bitterness or frustration, it was based on principles. What was happening during training and during games was absolutely different, it surprises me and I am left with no answers, so the best option was to pull out,” said Mbolembole who had been given four games to turn things around or face the sack.
He said as a coach, he had to take full responsibility of the team’s poor showing and not the players.
Mbolembole also said he had made the decision in the interest of the team and his reputation.
“Prior to the game, there was a section of the fans that were calling for my head and to avoid acts of violence through protests, I had to move out. Maybe I am the problem and my decision could be the solution,” he said.
On his future, Mbolembole said: “I am still a coach and I will wait for other opportunities. Sometimes it goes with time.
“As a parting shot to Wanderers, I would advise them to sort out some internal problems that are there in order to get the best from the players. Otherwise, I can see the trend continuing.
“I have been a Nomad through and through and I have not left a bitter person, it is time to move on.”
Mbolembole has been with the Nomads for slightly over a year, having taken over from Felix Fosiko. Last season, he guided them to retain the Standard Bank Knockout Cup.
After the game on Saturday, Mbolembole and his entire backroom staff refused to grant interviews to the media.
Kananji confirmed Mbolembole’s resignation, but was quick to say they would issue a press statement stating the club’s position on the development.