By Ricky Zililo
Lack of mental strength by Highlanders players is worrying coach Madinda Ndlovu who is working on a “back to Highlanders culture” project.
While their venture is progressing in a positive manner, it is lack of mental strength by his charges which Ndlovu says he has to address.
Highlanders have been playing beautiful football, which has attracted fans in droves but lack of potency at goal has at times seen them dropping valuable points.
Bosso are third on the table with 25 points after 13 games and trail leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars by 10 points.
Speaking after his side edged Bulawayo City with a beautiful goal by Brian Banda on Thursday, Ndlovu opened up and said he needs to work on his players’ mental strength.
“This is the first time I’ve come out openly that the first thing that the mental strength of our boys is something that we have to look at. The boys seem to have challenges in terms of their mental strength. This is what I’m discovering right now that mental strength for our boys is slightly lower than what I thought, so we have a lot to do in that regard. But otherwise that’s why we get these jobs to try and identify where the boys need help and I think we have a lot of work to do as a club, as an organisation with the vision we are embarking on,” said Ndlovu.
Highlanders have scored 14 goals and conceded seven.
“We’re not pressed for scoring 20 goals, we’re not a team that is looking at that. The results will come as we go with our project. We are not putting any pressure on the boys in terms of them scoring as many goals or winning all the games. We’re going with the project and want to properly analyse player by player.
“So I wouldn’t say they are bad results that we are having, if we are having bad results what about those below us? I think there are fair results for these boys and with what we are trying to do I think it’s a fair result, I won’t say it’s a bad result,” said Ndlovu.
The Highlanders coach’s sentiments, genuine as they may be, could also be a ploy by Ndlovu to challenge his players so that they prove him wrong and at the same time take away the pressure from his charges.
Tomorrow Highlanders take on tricky opponents Chapungu who are hovering above the relegation zone.
Bosso will bank on evergreen rightback McClive Phiri, seasoned central defender Peter Muduhwa, goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, defensive midfielder Ben Musaka and Banda to lead them in their search for victory. Another player who has shown much improvement is winger Gabriel Nyoni.
Today: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Harare City (Baobab) Tomorrow: Mutare City Rovers v Triangle United (Vengere), Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Nichrut v Black Rhinos (Ascot), Shabanie Mine v Bulawayo Chiefs (Maglas), Highlanders v Chapungu (Barbourfields), ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo City (Nyamhunga), Yadah v Caps United (National Sports Stadium), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve)
Wednesday: Caps United 3-0 ZPC Kariba, Chapungu 0-1 Ngezi Platinum Stars, Harare City 2-1 Shabanie Mine, Bulawayo Chiefs 0-2 Chicken Inn
Herentals 1-0 Triangle United, Yadah 1-0 Mutare City, Bulawayo City 0-1 Highlanders, Black Rhinos 1-1 Dynamos, FC Platinum 1-0 Nichrut The Chronicle