By Sindiso Dube
UNDER-FIRE Highlanders FC coach Madinda Ndlovu has said his main target this year is at least a top-four finish and has remained defiant in the face of fans, who are demanding his ouster following a poor start to the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, where the team is still winless after five matches.
Bosso have managed three draws, while succumbing to two defeats and scoring just two goals in the process.
Last week, they drew nil-all with Premiership newboys Mushowani Stars and Madinda had to sneak out of Rufaro Stadium through the back exit as fans bayed for his blood at the main gate.
This weekend, Bosso face a motivated Hwange in Bulawayo, with the coal miners bubbling with confidence following a good start to the campaign, where they have won four of their first five matches.
Addressing the media, the gaffer, who turned 54 on Thursday, maintained that his job was safe at the former champions, despite calls for him to be fired.
“I have a contract with Highlanders FC and it’s not just a piece of paper written, but it’s a very solid one. It’s a simple scenario whereby we agreed on a three-year term. The first being the developmental year, where we built the team from our junior structures; the second year, which is this one, which is for us to build a competitive side which will probably fight for at least a top-four finish and a piece silverware. Fortunately, we already have one (Uhuru Cup). Then the final year is when we should fight for the league title,” he said.
“This is the agreement we have with my team. If it was the third year, I would be worried about being fired, but now I think we are on track with our mission.”
The coach guaranteed the fans that results would start coming soon.
“I understand the outcry and concerns from the fans and I respect their thoughts. It’s their right to demand results because that’s what they pay money for, to watch their team win. I, however, guarantee them that we shall rise from the slag,” Madinda said.
Ndlovu admitted that his charges had failed in all levels in their opening encounters.
“We are setting ourselves a target now and it’s a target to do better than what we did last year. I believe we have a strong team of youngsters who can compete and we start with the Hwange game to turn tables around. We are setting ourselves a target of getting at least 11 points in the next five games,” he said.
“The boys are motivated in camp and are also as worried as everyone that we haven’t garnered maximum points, but they have not thrown in the towel because it’s too early to do so.”
The Bosso mentor added that his team needed to work on sharpening the finishing ability.
“Regardless of what people and also the media say I think the team is playing good football and the only area which must be worked on is the finishing ability,” he said.
“Maybe it’s because we don’t have the correct men, power or we haven’t found the right combination to get us those desired results, but we are creating many chances and outplaying our opponents, but miss chances at the end. That’s where we are working very hard to get it all right.”