Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ poor start to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League has divided their followers, with some backing underfire head coach Madinda Ndlovu and his technical team, while others feel he should be given an ultimatum.
Bosso are winless in five games and the fans’ anger reached boiling point at the weekend when they were held by newly promoted side Mushowani Stars 0-0 in Harare, leaving them occupying the last relegation slot, 15th place, with three points.
Below are views by some Bosso fans.
Ntandoyenkosi Diva Msipha: “We really have a problem at Highlanders because if you look at the way the team was playing last season and compare it with the present one, it’s disappointing. Madinda should just use players in their right positions because if we continue playing like this, it won’t be surprising to see us playing in Division One next season.”
Thembinkosi Ncube: “Lack of goals can easily be interpreted to playing players out of position. Fielding Prince Dube behind strikers or on the wings isn’t working and to me, Tinashe Makanda and Bukhosi Sibanda are contenders for the behind strikers’ position. Look, when Bukhosi was at Bantu Rovers he scored lots of goals playing as an attacking midfielder or as a false striker. The other thing we’ve seen that we start the ball at the back from goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, then to defensive midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku, who passes back to the defenders. We seem to enjoy possession yet we fail to make that count because we will be passing the ball inside our half. Let’s have someone who will take the ball from Nqobizitha and give it to strikers. Where is Denzel Khumalo? We’ve seen other players being given a chance this season, but uDenzel asimboni. Kapupurika came in as a direct replacement for Gabriel Nyoni, but he rarely plays. To date we don’t have a definite first 11, which is a problem.”
Progress Ndlovu: “To me the boys have been playing well, but we lack finishing. For example, the last game against Mushowani we created five clear cut scoring chances in the first half which were wasted. Maybe if the technical team tries to use Prince Dube as a centre forward it may bear positive results.”
Mbonisi Tshuma: “The best way to solve the crisis at Bosso is to fire the coach. Players are there at Highlanders.”
Prince Maunga Tshuma: “Performance is poor, but the problem is the management, we have good players. No one knows about football in that executive committee. We can’t just blame the coach because at times it’s the leadership crisis that we are facing. Players are there; we don’t even know how the issue of fitness and (players’) strike was solved. Emotions aside, we might be in title contention if the coach sets his team right.”
Thulani Harshtouch Dube: “I still believe we can turn around our fortunes if we pull in the same direction; that is players, coaches, club leadership and supporters. The coach should know we strongly support him, especially for bringing hope to us the fans, but he should know experimenting with average performers in place of stars is taking us back. Players should know we support them even if odds are against them. We expect them to bring out their best when in Bosso colours. It’s sad some make mistakes that cost us points.”
Lindani Hadebe: “The way forward for Highlanders is for the welfare manager to address and deal with players’ discipline, especially off the field. When it comes to match fitness, why can’t the coach change the training programme? Plus the executive must call all the technical staff and players, tell them what it means to be wearing that black and white stripe. That Highlanders’ jersey is sacred and it’s not for posting pictures on social media.”
Mandla Nkala: I think if Highlanders want to win, we have to bring back Denzel Khumalo because it’s becoming clear we don’t have a playmaker. The technical team and the club should then find a better way to discipline Denzel. Then they have to take Prince Dube back to central striker. To be honest, at Bosso we have good players, but the selection is wrong. The other thing, let’s try to be patient because just a win can turn things around.”
Sipho Ncube: “Players are there. I feel the three coaches must try to look at players’ performance not to choose the players ngokuthi ngokabani. The three coaches must take turns to go and understudy other teams. Kukhanya nxa bekhetha the first 18 for the game, bayabe bengela idea ukuthi iteam abadlala layo idlala njani? Like the Saturday game (against Mushowani), Highlanders played high balls when they had short players Ray Lunga and Cleopas Kapupurika. Madinda should admit that at times your best player can be off and there’s no harm in substituting him. I feel Prince Dube had a terrible afternoon against Mushowani and maybe he should have tried Bukhosi Sibanda, but chose to keep Prince for the entire match. Let’s give them a chance and see what happens against Hwange and if they fail, then they should just do the honourable thing and step down.”
Thulani SaThuli Moyo: “I have nothing against the technical team because the way these boys are playing is really promising and it’s only a matter of time before they start winning. Highlanders have got all the arsenal to tackle any team head-on. The strike thing l think is killing the boys and they are still trying to get past it. l think we have to be a little patient with both the technical team and the boys.”