Home » General » Poor Preps Worry Pasuwa

Zimbabwe national team coach Callisto Pasuwa is no under illusion of the task that awaits his crisis-ridden side this afternoon when the Warriors get their Nations Cup 2017 qualifiers underway against Malawi at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.

The Warriors will need divine intervention to come out with a positive result after leaving for Malawi yesterday following a week of turmoil in their camp.

Pasuwa and his charges left by road around midday yesterday and after crossing into Mozambique at around 5pm, they were then in a rush to try and get to the Malawi border before 9pm when it closes.

The border opens at 6am.

The team was supposed to travel on Thursday afternoon but they missed their flight as ZIFA and the players haggled over allowances and match fees.

Earlier in the week, the association was also involved in an impasse with the coach over outstanding payments and the lack of support for the team.

But as the dust appeared to settle, Pasuwa’s main worry was on the poor preparations, which ranks probably as the worst ever by the Warriors team.

The technical team did not have enough time with the players after training for only two days with fitness concerns the major issue as some of the players were now off-season.

“I have been trying to see how these boys will fare. Some of them last played two months ago and the others in the last two weeks,” said Pasuwa.

“So we are trying to manage as much as we can for these boys to go out and play well. It’s a big challenge to us but we are on the yoke.

“We will have to do with what is there. We will try to have Plan A and Plan B so that we come back with a result.

“It’s the preparations that count the most. If you prepare well, you will get a result. We have been beating Malawi before but again we need to prepare in order for us to have results.

“It’s unfortunate, we have developed a tendency of grinding results without even training and we want again to go out and say we can grind a result. It’s bad for Zimbabwe football.”

Zimbabwe have assembled a youthful squad built around the current Under-23 side that has been doing well and qualifying for this year’s Africa Games at the expense of West Africa giants Cameroon.

Pasuwa will have to choose between the two Olympic team goalkeepers Donovan Bernard and Tatenda Mukuruva to keep goal this afternoon, while a number of the Young Warriors team, who include Ronald Pfumbidzai, Blessing Moyo and Teenage Hadebe, are also expected to feature.

South Africa-based Willard Katsande, who was named the team captain, is expected to give direction from the midfield where he is likely to start with another experienced player Danny Phiri of Chicken Inn.

Zimbabwe are also looking for inspiration from their foreign-based players who include Kuda Mahachi, Khama Billiat, Marvelous Nakamba, Silas Songani, Cuthbert Malajila and Knowledge Musona.

However, Malawi skipper Joseph Kamwendo says the Flames will not read much into the problems that have rocked Zimbabwe’s preparations.

The former CAPS United man said they will not take their opponents lightly and are counting on home support to upstage the Warriors.

“These are mind games but let me assure the nation that we are ready for the game. We urge our fans to come in large numbers to drum support to us,” said Kamwendo.

His word were echoed by another Flames veteran Esau Kanyenda who plies his trade at Polokwane City in South Africa.

“We have a simple task to fulfill on Saturday against Zimbabwe. I am sure and 100 percent that we will carry the day. My plea to our fans is to keep us in prayers otherwise we are ready for the battle,” said Kanyenda.

Morale has been high in the Malawi camp ahead of this match.

The side received a huge boost following donations from their sponsors Carlsberg during mid-week.

The Malawi Football Association have provided the Flames with more preparatory games, the latest being a warm-up played on Monday in Egypt which the Pharaohs won 2-1.

Malawi also played friendlies against Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and then participated in the COSAFA Cup 2015 which saw the Flames winning the Plate division trophy.

Their coach Young Chidodzi said morale was high and they are looking for nothing less than a win.

“There is no excuse. We have a team that is very prepared. FAM has given us everything we needed for preparations and we just have to deliver the goods,” Chimodzi.

Warriors squad:

Goalkeepers: Tatenda Mukuruva, Donovan Bernard

Defenders: Blessing Moyo, Ronald Pfumbidzai, Justice Jangano, Teenage Hadebe, Partson Jaure, Eric Chipeta

Midfielders: Willard Katsande, Wisdom Mutasa, Kuda Mahachi, Khama Billiat, Danny Phiri, Gerald Takwara, Marvelous Nakamba, Silas Songani

Strikers: Cuthbert Malajila, Knowledge Musona.

Source : The Herald