BY HENRY MHAR
CRANBORNE Bullets coach Nesbert “Yabo” Saruchera is under increasing pressure despite his team’s poor form, but insists the army side will soon “bounce back” and avoid relegation at the end of the season.
A lot was expected from the promoted side in the league following its impressive run in the Chibuku Super Cup where it reached the semi-finals of the season opening tournament.
But it has not managed to recreate that form in the league where it lost four of their six matches it played so far, drawing the other two.
That poor run of results means they are candidates for relegation as they currently sit second from the bottom on the log standings with two points, the same as basement Whawha.
Alarm bells are already ringing loud in the Cranborne Bullets camp and fears are that Saruchera could face the chop.
He admitted that he is feeling the pressure, but said he was confident that he could still turn things around.
“As a coach yes, I’m worried. The pressure is there, but it’s only natural when the team is not doing well,” Yabo said.
“But we will bounce back, definitely.”
A number of unattached coaches including Joseph Takaringofa attended Bullets’ last match against Rhinos at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro-Ngezi last week.
“Yabo is going through a difficult period and when potential candidates start to appear at games like this . . . he should be very worried. It’s not a good sign,” an observer told NewsDay in Ngezi.
Saruchera has blamed the poor start to the season to injuries that afflicted his team.
At least nine players including regulars Lincoln Zvasiya, Wonder Kapinda, Douglas Mbewe, Colly Gonyora and Moreblessing Mashanishani missed the trip to Ngezi due to injuries.
First choice goalkeeper Tatenda Makoni was the latest addition to the team’s treatment room after he dislocated his shoulder at the end of the Rhinos match, and Saruchera said the keeper could be out for some weeks.
“All the defenders are out through injury and we were forced to play youngsters and new guys at the back.
We need to play our full squad as you know we are a small team coming up. We are going to rectify (mistakes).
I know we can do it.
When all the boys are back, we will be as solid as we started the season.”
Craneborne Bullets’ next assignment is a trip to Ngezi Platinum Stars on Saturday where they will be facing a team also desperate for maximum points.
Ngezi has picked two points in their last three matches and a 1-0 defeat to Triangle last week left interim coach Takesure Chiragwi in a very uncomfortable situation.
Just like Yabo, the axe could also fell on him anytime.
“We are going to make sure we collect three points in our next encounter so that we are up there (on the log standings) soon,” Yabo said.
“We don’t want to be relegated.
This is our first year in the topflight so we want to keep our position in the league.”
Match day 7 fixtures
Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo Chiefs (Nyamhunga), Harare City v Chicken Inn (National Sports Stadium), Black Rhinos v FC Platinum (Sakubva), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Craneborne Bullets (Baobab), Bulawayo City v Caps United (Barbourfields).
Sunday: Whawha v Yadah (Ascot), Manica Diamonds v Triangle (Sakubva), Dynamos v Tenax (National Sports Stadium), Highlanders v Herentals (Barbourfields).
- Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara