Immediate – past Flame s coach Mario Marinica says he recommended his former assistant Patrick Mabedi to FAM to succeed him in an interim role.
In an interview yesterday, the Romanian also hailed Mabedi for the team’s good run at the ongoing Cosafa Cup in Durban, South Africa.
The former Flames gaffer said Mabedi, his backroom staff and the players deserve all the credit for performing beyond expectations, I am very happy for them.
He said: “Patrick Mabedi is a very good coach and that was the reason I chose him as my assistant and then proposed him to FAM [Football Association of Malawi] to be interim Flames head coach [when I left] so as to keep a degree continuity.
“Almost all the new players were also previously called by us at various Flames camps. which made their transition easy.”
Marinica also said for the sake of progress, FAM should consider offering Mabedi the job on full-time basis.
“If FAM executive board would decide to give Mabedi the job on permanent basis, to keep the continuity going, it may also bring a degree of stability too.”
On what he made of Mabedi’s move to abandon his Fast and Very Fast philosophy, the former Flames mentor said: “I cannot 100 percent say if the Flames previous philosophy has been adopted or not.
“This, you should ask Patrick Mabedi himself. But I am extremely pleased that the Flames have achieved some great results recently.”
Marinica was hired as Flames coach in May last year on a one-year deal, but following the team’s poor run which culminated in back-to-back 2-0 and 0-4 defeats at the hands of Egypt’s Pharaohs in Africa Cup of Nations’ qualifiers, FAM decided not to extend his contract.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu on Thursday said they were happy with how Mabedi is transforming the Flames.
He said: “We are delighted with the turnaround of the team’s performance.
“The coach has done a fantastic job this far. He has made the team play with freedom and the players are able to express themselves which was lacking. He is focused, organised and knows what he is doing.”
Nyamilandu also said the team is disciplined and playing as a unit.
He further said the team’s good run at the regional tournament proves that FAM made the right decision to settle for the former Flames skipper.
“There were people that were skeptical about his abilities and he has proved them wrong,” Nyamilandu said.
Since he took over from Marinica, Mabedi has won three and drawn two with no loss.
His short-term contract expires in September when the Flames will face Guinea in their last 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier