THE Highlanders Football Club executive committee believes a rift in the technical team could be behind the team’s poor performances and have ordered coach Kelvin Kaindu and his assistants to meet the players and report back to club bosses by Friday.
The meeting will come just 48 hours before they face ZPC Kariba at Hartsfield in a make-or-break Premiership encounter.
Kaindu is assisted by Mark Mathe, while Peter Nkomo is the goalkeepers coach and another club legend Willard Khumalo, a former coach at the club, is the welfare manager.
Highlanders lost 0-1 to Harare City on Saturday which saw them drop to position three on the log table, four points behind leaders Dynamos, who have 43 points with ZPC Kariba on position two with 41 while Bosso is at par with Caps United on 39.
Bosso chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said there are concerns that the technical team is not united and hence is tearing the players apart.
“We believe that they (technical team) is not working together. We brought it up at the Monday night meeting that it could not only be the players that have a problem, but the technical team as well. We want to know whether they are working as a team without belittling each other. We are speculating here and we have thrown it at them to discuss,” said Gumede, adding that they would get feedback on Friday.
Speculation has been rife from Highlanders supporters that there could be friction between Kaindu, Mathe and Khumalo.
However, this has been denied by the executive in the past. Gumede said people could point fingers as to who is wrong, but the real issue could be within the technical team.
“People could say it is the players, Gumede or the executive, but maybe the problem is with the technical team and we would want to know what could be the problem,” he said.
Gumede said the club believes that there have been infiltration by people who do not have the team’s welfare at heart.
“There could be infiltration by some people who are not performing as well as they should be because their sights are set elsewhere. We want people to respect the brand (Highlanders) and also know that we must retain our status as a big team,” he said.
The BancABC-sponsored side has been facing a number of problems in the last couple of weeks that has seen the team being reduced to a mediocre side.
The technical team was also given a seven-point ultimatum by the executive after their 0-1 loss to Dynamos on August 9 which they managed after winning 1-0 against Triangle and FC Platinum and playing a goalless draw against Buffaloes.
Gumede revealed that they had a discussion with the players and technical team a couple of weeks ago where they agreed that should they win the Castle Lager Premier League title they would get 60% of the prize money.
“We raised the stakes from the initial 50-50 percentage to 60-40 with the players getting most of the winnings. We told the technical department that we want to win the league and as management we have done all that we could do. The ball is now in their court,” said Gumede.
“We have challenged them to tell us the way forward and tell us whether we can salvage the league title which is fast disappearing. We have scheduled a meeting for Friday. This is where they will tell us what they will do to salvage it. It is a self-introspection meeting.”
Gumede said although they could absorb all the criticism being hurled towards the club they have to keep a level head and not “lose their cool” even though they do have options on how to rectify the situation.
“We have to look at what happens and have to take time and keep the eye on the ball.”
This was an apparent reference to calls from Highlanders supporters to have Kaindu sacked which have been getting louder despite the team having reached the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup.
Their next league match is against ZPC Kariba at Hartsfield on Sunday. The two teams drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture at Gwanzura.