HIGHLANDERS coach Kelvin Kaindu felt the heat over the weekend after losing his third consecutive match — this time to FC Platinum in the quarter-finals of the BancABC Sup8r competition — as Caps United loom large this weekend in Bulawayo.
Caps were the first team to hand Bosso an away defeat two weeks ago and the two giants clash at Barbourfields this Sunday as the second round of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League resumes.
First, it was a derby loss — a morale sapping 1-0 defeat to Chicken Inn — having previously also lost at home to How Mine and Motor Action.
The league race resumes this weekend with Highlanders still on top of the standings with 29 points — the same as Chicken Inn, but they face a resurgent Caps United who are just three points behind the leaders.
Dynamos are in third place with 28 points and meet How Mine at Luveve on Saturday while fourth-placed Harare City, also on 28 points, are back home against Hwange. With such statistics and pressure hanging over him, Kaindu yesterday told NewsDay Sport more still needs to be done.
“We have not been consistent this season. We are in a better position on the log table. It is just that people are judging us in comparison to where we were this time last season. The players have put in 100% effort in our matches.
“If you look at the log table you will notice that we have scored more goals. Our only weakness is that we have conceded more. We still need to work more on our defence and scoring. We are just going through a bad patch, but we will start moving in the right direction,” he said.
There has been an outcry over the performance of Highlanders as they were expected to continue from where they left off last season. Last season Bosso went on a 23-match unbeaten run, but eventually lost the championship to Dynamos on goal difference.
“There is always pressure in football. The more you win the more pressure you have and if you lose it is the same thing. The important thing is to know how to handle the pressure,” he said.
There have also been reports on social networks saying Bosso are losing matches because some of the players come to training drunk.
“I am a Christian and the players know that. I will never tolerate any player who comes to training drunk. I am so particular about discipline. But we do not monitor what the players do outside when they are not at training,” Kaindu said.
The mid-season transfer window opened yesterday, but the Zambian said he is not sure if they will beef up their squad.
“For us it is difficult because we cannot go on the market. If we do not have resources then my job is to improve the players I have,” he said.
Kaindu said the second round of the league is going to be even more difficult because of the battle for the championship and relegation fight. At the same stage last season, Bosso had gone halfway through their campaign without conceding a loss.
While Kaindu feels the heat, Dynamos are on the recovery path after reaching the semi-finals of the BancABC Sup8r competition after dispatching Buffaloes 2-0 in a revenge match at Gibbo on Sunday,
Buffaloes, who face the champions again next Sunday at Rufaro, were the first to hand Dynamos their first league defeat of the season, winning 3-2 at Sakubva.
FC Platinum welcomed Lloyd Mutasa to the helm with the win over Bosso, meaning they are unbeaten in their last three matches, having picked up four points from two league matches to move to 26 points — three behind Highlanders.
Friday: Chicken Inn v Shabanie Mine (Luveve)
Saturday: How Mine v Dynamos (Luveve), Motor Action v Monomotapa (Motor Action Sports Club), Black Rhinos v FC Platinum (Rimuka), Black Mambas v Triangle (Morris Depot)
Sunday: Highlanders v Caps United (Barbourfields), Buffaloes v Tripple B (Sakubva), Harare City v Hwange (Rufaro)