Melbourne Knights president Pave Jusup has revealed Micky Colina was sacked following a poor run of results after a strong start to the season.
In an open interview on FNR Football Nation Radio’s The Knight Train, Mr Jusup believes the coaches “lost the dressing room” and the board felt it was the right decision given the drop in form.
Despite currently sitting in sixth in the NPL Victoria standings, the Knights sat in third after round ten but have since dropped ten points behind league leaders Avondale after losses to lowly opposition.
“I think the coaches did lose the dressing room but not in the classic way that a coach would, the players still respected [Colina] but I think his message was starting to get lost in translation,” Mr Jusup said.
“It’s a results based business so the decision was based on the results and in our first ten we won seven and lost three.
“Our three losses came against good sides and were sitting second or third at the time and then we came up against four teams in the last month, excluding Hume, in the bottom three when we played them
“It started becoming a trend, we felt as a board we felt looking at the players and coaches that change was needed to buck that trend.”
Mr Jusup dismissed a player mutiny led to the decision, with many of players allegedly being surprised by the announcement.
The club’s last piece of silverware was the 2014 Docherty Cup, with the Knights yet to win a Premiership or Championship since the disbandment of the National Soccer League – something the club’s president says needs to change.
“I think we’ve accepted mediocrity for a long time and stuck by coaches and players longer than what we should have in the past and this is what I think it takes to get to the top,” he said.
“The internal goal when I first addressed the team was I believe with the squad we have that we should be challenging for a title.
“This isn’t a secret, internally this is our aim.
“If the players still believe in that and we get someone on board who shares this ambition then we’ll get close.”
Mr Jusup revealed assistant coach Steve Gojevic was asked to remain and club captain Marijan Cvitkovic will lead the side as captain-coach.
A new coach is expected to be announced in the coming days with the club “in advanced talks” with one coach.
The Knights will shift their attention from last Friday’s loss to Oakleigh to Tuesday’s FFA Cup match against league leaders Avondale.
The match will also be midfielder’s Tomislav Uskok’s last for the club – who will move to Sydney.
“Our players are confident for tomorrow they know they have to lift,” Mr Jusup said.
“Tomorrow night will also be Tommy Uskok’s last game, he’s moving to Sydney and we worked quite hard to keep him here.
“But it hasn’t worked out so he’s going to Sydney United which is disappointing because he’s one of the best midfielders in the league and I know he really wants to prove Avondale wrong.”