BY FORTUNE MBELE
With alarm bells starting to ring at Highlanders following a bad start to the 2019 season that is dampening fans’ expectations, coach Madinda Ndlovu has absolved himself of any blame, instead pointing to the pre-season industrial action as the cause of the poor form that has seen the Bulawayo giants fail to register a win in four matches.
Bosso have played two draws and their 1-0 defeat to Triangle on Easter Monday was their second of the season.
During the same period last season, after Ndlovu had taken over from Dutchman Erol Akbay, Highlanders had garnered 10 points from three wins and a draw, scoring five goals in the process.
However, after handing Triangle their first win against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium on Monday, Ndlovu said he was not surprised by the results, but believes things will come right.
“It’s a game of football, we look at this one (Triangle match) and forget about it and look at the next opponents and plan accordingly. This is what football is all about. I am not pressed that we have not won a game. I am of the opinion that we are going to get it right. It might be a song that many people might not want to hear, but if you look at our players, our play, our defence takes too long to move out when the ball is in attack. That shows what I am talking about when I talk about the fitness levels,” Ndlovu said.
The coach said his players were continuously prone to injury because of lack of fitness, but they will pick up as the season progresses.
Defender Bukhosi Ncube lasted 16 minutes in Monday’s game and was replaced by Andrew Mbeba, who also missed the Harare City match that preceded the Triangle clash.
Zambian striker Peter Nyirenda has missed three matches due to injury, while Prince Dube, who came in as a substitute on Monday limped through the latter stages of the Harare City match.
Mbongeni Ndlovu has been ruled out for the next two weeks after he picked an injury against Dynamos in the Independence Trophy last Thursday.
“This is what I have been preaching everyday. An unfit player is vulnerable to injuries. We are going to continue to have these kind of situations. All we need to do is to put our heads together to try and make sure that we forge ahead and try to fight the mistake that happened in pre-season. That lost time is going to be very difficult to recover, but I am sure that the moment we start ticking, we will get there. It’s all about the lost time. We are now in competition. We cannot engage into pre-season training now. As we play games, we will get to the fitness levels that we want. It is not my fault, it’s no-one’s fault. It is a situation that happened to the club. We have to admit and work together and say it’s time to change as we play the games,” Ndlovu said.
Despite all the problems the club is facing, Ndlovu is, however, pleased that his charges were creating chances although they were failing to convert.