AFC Leopards management has reiterated their support for under-fire coach Tom Juma despite recent calls by fans to fire him owing to the team’s poor start to the 2023-24 FKF Premier League season.
The 46-year-old Juma took charge at the Den on a permanent deal after Belgian Patrick Aussems resigned at the end of last season citing family and personal reasons and since the start of the new campaign, Ingwe are yet to win a match, nor score a goal from the three played so far.
Ingwe started the season with a 0-0 draw against FC Talanta, then suffered a 1-0 defeat against KCB before forcing a 0-0 draw against Muhoroni Youth in their last assignment. At the end of their clash against Muhoroni at Kasarani Stadium last Saturday, agitated Ingwe fans vented their anger on Juma accusing him of lacking skills to handle the side with “Juma must go” chants renting the air. When asked about the fans’ reaction, Juma told reporters: “It is okay. Everyone has their opinions and we have to respect the opinions of everyone.”
On Wednesday, Ingwe officials led by chairman Dan Shikanda moved in to calm the situation by promising their unwavering support for Juma and his technical bench and further called on the fans to remain calm as “something good was cooking at the Den.” A signed statement read in part: “The management of the club is pleased to announce its unwavering confidence in the leadership of the technical bench, headed by Tom Juma,” adding: “The club remains committed to achieving its goals and aspirations, and we trust that the technical bench is well-equipped to guide us toward victory.”
The statement continued: “Tom Juma and his team have been working tirelessly to prepare the squad for success this season. Their dedication and expertise are instrumental in achieving our goals, and we anticipate excellent results in the matches to come.”
Ingwe further delivered a message to their fans urging them to trust the process by saying: “We call upon our dedicated fans to remain optimistic and continue supporting the team passionately. Your unwavering support is the driving force behind our success, and together, we can achieve greatness and make this season one to remember.”
The decision to stand with Juma means he will be in charge when AFC, who are currently sitting 14th on the 18-team table with two points, face Kenya Police in their matchday four fixture on Saturday.