‘We’re still in ti­tle race’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

TWO se­nior High­landers play­ers have de­scribed their poor run of form as a pass­ing phase and de­clared that they are still in the cham­pi­onship race de­spite the team re­main­ing rooted at the bot­tom of the sec­ond half of the sea­son ta­ble with no points. High­landers have con­ceded five goals in the three sec­ond half matches played so far, a record worse than any of the 16 teams. They are one of the five sides yet to pick up a win but are the only team still to pick a point, a record that has seen them an­chor the ta­ble, seven points adrift of lead­ers How Mine and sec­ond placed Caps United. The sta­tis­tics must be wor­ry­ing for the High­landers faith­fuls but for vice cap­tain Erick Mudz­ingwa and lively winger Rah­man Kut­sanzira, it is a phase that they will soon get past. The duo ruled out any out­side forces or rea­sons for their bad patch. “We are just go­ing through a bad patch, noth­ing else. We have done ev­ery­thing there is to do on the pitch but goals are not com­ing,” said Kut­sanzira, sen­ti­ments echoed by Mudz­ingwa dur­ing two separate in­ter­views yes­ter­day. Kut­sanzira also said some of the young­sters could be weighed down by pres­sure from sup­port­ers who are hun­gry for suc­cess in the form of a league ti­tle which has eluded them since 2006. “I know that from the club ad­min­is­tra­tion, the league ti­tle might not be a pri­or­ity this year but the hon­est truth and re­al­ity is that our fans need that like yes­ter­day and to us se­nior play­ers we un­der­stand where that comes from be­cause this is High­landers. It can’t be ex­pected that we should be re­build­ing at 90 years old but that might be too much for the young­sters in the team,” said Kut­sanzira.

He said the three losses have badly af­fected them es­pe­cially as they came against some good per­for­mances on the pitch with goals just elud­ing them.

“We know some peo­ple could have ruled us out and maybe it is good for us as it can take away some pres­sure but we will rise up,” said Kut­sanzira.

Vice cap­tain Mudz­ingwa also la­mented the de­par­ture and injury to key play­ers as an­other pos­si­ble cause for their ter­ri­ble sec­ond half of the sea­son run.

Bosso lost Bruce Kangwa and Knox Mu­tizwa to Azam of Tan­za­nia and Bid­vets Wits of South Africa re­spec­tively while in­juries have claimed Ben­son Phiri, King Nadolo, Hon­est Moyo, Kut­sanzira, Prince Dube and Nh­lanhla Ndlovu. Vet­eran Ralph Matema has been in and out of the squad.

“Goals have been elud­ing us de­spite good per­for­mances on the pitch where we have done lit­er­ally ev­ery­thing there is to do ex­cept scor­ing. This is some­thing we have to work on as a team. I am con­fi­dent though we will turn the cor­ner very soon. Let those who dream of a fin­ished High­landers con­tinue do­ing so,” said Mudz­ingwa.

While there is lit­tle that could be done to avoid in­juries, the Bosso tech­ni­cal team has also been blamed for fail­ing to pre­pare for the de­par­ture of Mu­tizwa and Kangwa by grad­u­ally in­tro­duc­ing some of their fringe or new play­ers so that they could gel with the rest of the old guard.

Ques­tions have been asked as to why Kangwa and Mu­tizwa lasted for 90 min­utes on the pitch un­til their last games yet the team either had young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced or new guys like Kasimero Chim­badzwa on the bench who they could have thrown in even for just 10 min­utes.

Bosso take on Chicken Inn at Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Sec­ond half league ta­ble

Rah­man Kut­sanzira

Erick Mudz­ingwa

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