By Ricky Zililo
Highlanders’ chairman Kenneth Mhlophe, treasurer Donald Ndebele and committee member Wisdom Mabhena yesterday met head coach Madinda Ndlovu and reportedly reassured him of their support.
This follows the Sunday morning meeting of the technical team where they are said to have expressed grave concern about lack of results after Saturday’s 3-0 mauling by Chicken Inn.
Mhlophe, Ndebele and Mabhena are also expected to meet the players at their training ground to show support and help them stem the tide following a horrendous start to the season in which they have so far amassed four points from seven games and have also not won a match.
This is the worst start by Bosso since Independence and Bosso fans resorted to violence on Saturday as tempers flared when it became apparent that their team would lose.
Ndlovu has declared that only the players can save Bosso from sinking deeper into the murky relegation waters following Saturday’s hammering.
He feels he has done all in his might to turnaround the team’s fortunes and can’t promise if results will start coming anytime soon.
Ndlovu said his message to the players after the heart piercing defeat to Chicken Inn was simply to implore them to stand up and be counted.
In his post-match interview, Ndlovu spoke like a coach whose days are numbered, as he repeatedly said the players will have to soldier on “with or without me around”.
“We’re navigating a rough patch. It’s now the character of the players we’ve got, whether they’re players that can take a blow, go down, get up again and continue fighting. The crop of players has changed since our playing times, so it’s a matter of pushing and making sure they realise and understand the magnitude of the club,” said Ndlovu.
“There are 27 games to go and so they have to fight. Tempers are still high; the boys are down, there’s nothing to speak about. I had to encourage them to keep on fighting and soldier on; they’re Highlanders players with me or without me. Ten games can change the situation whether I’m there or not there.
“We’ve gone for seven games without a win. Am I not human to get worried about that? Players should be strong and they should be able to come up and fight, whether I’m there or not. I think I cannot tell if any change can happen any minute in terms of performance. If we go by the performance of today (Sunday) I don’t think there’s anything I’ll promise anyone in the next coming games.”
He said Chicken Inn’s first goal broke his players’ mental strength and they psychologically lost the game.
“That goal probably dismantled the whole game. We didn’t really match Chicken Inn man for man. The reaction period was very slow for the team and attempts at goal were very poor. Even by the time we tried to change the system, our players had given up; their minds were on defeat default mode.
“It’s a pity to say that such kind of performance is expected from Highlanders’ players. If you’re a Highlanders player, you need to live up to the name and size of the club itself, but that didn’t happen,” Ndlovu said.
With pressure from all angles mounting for results and calls for heads to roll in the management and technical staff, Ndlovu appreciates the “love” supporters have shown to the squad.
“I just have to thank the supporters for being friendly to the entire team. I commend the supporters to keep it up. The club doesn’t belong to one person, but the masses of people out there and I’m appreciative that they really didn’t make a big deal about the loss. I don’t know, whether they saw something positive, but I didn’t see anything positive.
“I appreciate their character, their behaviour and that is Highlanders. Together we go into the doldrums, together we come out of there. Whatever they think of doing next is their right,” said Ndlovu.
He didn’t want to dwell much on the disturbances they faced in the build-up to the season where they went for over three-weeks with players on strike.
“No need to be talking about the same thing for a long time. We’re all professionals in our own right, so it is how one chooses to interpret what’s happening at Highlanders, but we’re all in agreement that things are not moving well for now. That’s one thing we should focus on saving the club.
“You think the situation is normal at Highlanders. I’ve got a contract with Highlanders. Why do you sign a contract, you’ve got to bring results. If it’s my fault, I’ve to march out. Bobby Clark lost nine games, then turned the corner in game 10 and continued to win games and the next season we were cup kings. The excitement of football is scoring goals. We’ve tried so much to get a win, but it’s not coming,” Ndlovu said. The Chronicle