AFC Leopards begun their 2019/20 Kenyan Premier League season campaign with a 1-0 loss to Kakamega Homeboyz at the Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega on Sunday – putting pressure on Rwandan coach Andre Cassa Mbungu.
In preparation for the new season, Ingwe, as Leopards are nicknamed, played a series of friendlies, which all ended in loses for them, this despite recruiting heavily during the off the season.
The 12-time Kenyan champions lost 1-0 to Yanga SC of Tanzania in Mwanza before falling to KCB (2-0), Mathare United (4-1) and Wazito (1-0) in a four-team pre-season tournament held in Nairobi.
This left the 51-year-old former AS Kigali gaffer exposed with questions being asked about his tactical prowess and ability champion Ingwe’s quest to deliver their first KPL title in over a decade this campaign.
Ingwe’s National Executive Committee (NEC) is reportedly concerned that the foreign players Cassa recommended for signing have not lived up expectations thus far.
“He was given targets even before the pre-season tournament, NEC is questioning the performance of foreign players that he recommended, his tactics and the way he responds to advise from both his bosses and other members of technical bench,” a source told Kahawa Tungu.
Cassa reportedly overlooks local talents and prefers to field foreigners despite their present poor form. According to the source, the former Kiyovu SC manager was on Sunday instructed by a senior member of the NEC to substitute Rwandan attacking midfielder Vincent Habamahoro, who was having a low key game.
Leopards management is working to ring changes in the technical bench before the forthcoming international break comes to a close mid next week, according a close source.
“NEC want to use the international break to effect the changes and the new coach to have some time with the team.”
Cassa joined Ingwe in February this year. He became the club’s sixth coach since last year after Robert Matano, Dennis Kitambi, Rodolfo Zapata, Nikola Kavazovic and Marko Vasilijevic.