BY SINDISO DUBE
UNDER fire Highlanders FC coach Madinda Ndlovu has described their Sunday match against Herentals at Barbourfields Stadium as their imminent turning point, after a disastrous start to the Castle Lager Premier League 2019 season.
The former champions have gone for seven matches without a win, having drawn four and lost three matches and sitting second from the bottom of the log, just on top of fellow city men — Bulawayo Chiefs.
Highlanders go into the match seeking their first set of maximum points and also their first goal of the season in their backyard, after their strike-force led by Prince Dube, Peter Nyirenda and Tinashe Makanda has continuously fired blanks.
Addressing a press conference, the former Bosso winger said his boys were now eager to crush whatever comes their way.
“The boys are eager to crush whatever can be crushed; we are keeping the boys motivated and focused in line with victory. We have taken measures to bring in independent people and institutions to psychologically boost the boys.
“The players are equally worried, if not more than us, over why they are letting this technical department down by losing matches. What we need to do as leaders is to keep them afloat and harvesting the good football that they are playing,” he said.
Herentals’ last big win was against Dynamos, which led to the sacking of Lloyd “Mablanyo” Chigowe and they come into the match with the motive to disappoint Bosso.
“As we approach this match, we are just continuing with what we were doing. We have not been registering results, but we know that the day will come and it may be this Sunday,” Ndlovu added.
The Bosso gaffer revealed that the club will engage highly-rated institutions to work on the player’s psychological wellbeing after the disturbance of not winning for seven matches. The club’s technical team will also bring in former sharp shooters like Zenzo Moyo to boost the blank firing strike-force.
At the team’s weekly press conference, Ndlovu was, for the first time flanked by his assistant coaches Bekithemba Ndlovu and Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu. The assistant coaches threw their weight behind their superior — under pressure Ndlovu after rumours that one of the assistants was plotting Madinda’s ouster.
“With Madinda, we are a team and we have been together since day one and it’s just unfortunate that when we don’t get the desired results a lot of issues are said, but we are a united front. We have been working well with the good support from the board and executive. We applaud the support we have been given by the fans, sooner or later if not Sunday, we shall get the desired results,” Mpofu said.
He added: “Madinda’s shoes are too big to fill, if he is away it means I am also away because I don’t think I have the capabilities of filling in his position — if he goes, I will also go home and I don’t want that to happen. What will happen to my family then?”
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures
Tomorrow: FC Platinum v ZPC Kariba (Mandava), Bulawayo Chiefs v Dynamos (Barbourfields), Black Rhinos v Hwange (National Sports Stadium), Harare City v Triangle United (Rufaro), Ngezi Platinum v Yadah (Baobab)
Sunday: Manica Diamonds v TelOne (Gibbo), Highlanders v Herentals (Barbourfields), Chapungu v Chicken Inn (Mandava), CAPS United v Mushowani Stars (NSS)