When Dragojlo Stanojlovic was appointed the new boss at the Peleng giants in March, there were mixed reactions from the supporters.
Many argued that since the team was doing well under the leadership of interim coach, Thabo Motang, there was no need to bring a new man on board.
Some players saw Drago as a reject who had failed dismally at Mochudi Centre Chiefs where he was booted out.
At the time, the players seemed to enjoy his tactics and continued to play under him as they pushed for survival.
Almost two weeks into the new season, a number of players have told this publication that they are not happy with the Serbian.
“We met with the management in the last week and we told them our grievances. There is no doubt that we’re not enjoying his (Dragojlo) tactics and he is always using offensive language towards us in training. He is not the same person like when he joined the club towards the end of last season. He never consults with the players when it comes to issues of importance. We feel that it was a mistake on the part of the executive to have let Thabo (Motang) go because he knew how to get the best out of us,” said one player on condition anonymity.
Another player added: “Our relationship with Drago has hit an all time low since the departure of that Thabo (Motang, former assistant coach). Imagine ahead of Kabelano Charity Cup, he used some offensive language towards Sissoko (Katlego Koobake). When the player responded, he was forced by some members of the technical team forced him to apologise. In return Sissoko was left on the bench for 90 minutes against Township Rollers as a way of punishment. This is not good at all and the executive is not saying a word about it. The only way is to revolt in order for the executive to take us serious or lose the games deliberately.”
A source close to the executive said that the bosses at the club are aware that players are not comfortable working under Drago. He said that it is only that the main financier, Cassim Dada, is a close friend of the Serbian.
At the same time it is no secret that if it was up to chairman Kitso Dlamini, the Serbian could have long been fired.
“Whilst most people here feel that Thabo deserves to be given another chance, Cassim is reluctant because in his eyes Thabo belongs to Township Rollers where he spent most of his life and cannot be trusted. What makes it painful is that Drago did not discuss the line-up with his technical team against Rollers ahead of Kabelano hence the mauling. He (Drago) knows that he has full support from Cassim hence he is not worried,” said a source.
Gunners’ chairman, Kitso Dlamini, said he is not aware that the players are not happy with the coach. He pointed out that what he knows is that there was an element of indiscipline from the side of players which the executive addressed.
“We addressed the players on the matter of indiscipline which was reported to us. We did not know the exact details but I can confirm that even the coach we talked to him. It is important for both parties to work together towards a common goal. Drago remains our coach until that time when we would feel that he is not delivering,” said Dlamini.
Information reaching this publication indicates that Gunners’ executive has made contact with a number of coaches to take over the reins when Drago exits. But Dlamini denied the reports saying that at the moment they are only hunting for an assistant coach. “We’ll appoint an assistant coach in the coming week,” he said.