STUNG by the indifferent performances of his boys against teams at the bottom of the log, Highlanders’ head coach, Erol Akbay, says, going forward, he will be making wholesale changes to his regular squad against the lowly sides and that starts with Bantu Rovers at Barbourfields Stadium today.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Highlanders lost to Shabanie at BF and were held by Chapungu at Ascot and Harare City at the National Sports Stadium on Wednesday and the Dutchman is not happy with dropping points to clubs at the bottom and has attributed the slump to the negative mentality of his players when they play these teams.
“I am very mad at how my boys are playing against teams at the bottom of the log. It’s the not the way we play our football,” Akbay said. “ The boys are letting us down. That is why I have decided to make complete changes and play a different team against the teams at the bottom. We have to be serious against all the teams that we play. I am completely changing the team that plays Bantu Rovers tomorrow.”
The new-look squad could feature some players like Denzel Khumalo, who could be up against his former club today, with expatriates Yves Ebabali and Tambwe Kalunga likely to get the nod.
King Nadolo, Godfrey Makaruse and Nhlanhla Ndlovu are some of the players that have not played much this season.
But the move might be a gamble for Akbay against Bantu Rovers, who have asserted themselves in the Premier Soccer League and are looking forward to their third win having beaten Triangle and Yadah FC at home, although they have a disappointing record on the road.
Tshintsha Guluva acting coach, Joseph Sibindi said they are ready for Highlanders.
“We are just getting on with our preparations and looking forward to the game against Highlanders. Our objectives have not changed. We are focussing on our process goals. We are not worried much about results,” he said.
Led by the April Castle Lager Player of the Month and skipper, Bukhosi Sibanda with the enterprising Obriel Chirinda and Gladman Bharibhari, Bantu Rovers could prove to be a problem for Highlanders, who have found the going tough against struggling teams.
Meanwhile, the Chicken Inn/Caps United League match set for Luveve Stadium tomorrow has been postponed because of the league champions’ busy schedule, as they are taking part in the Caf Champions League.
The Green Machine lost to Egyptian giants Zamalek in Cairo last Friday in the group stages of the Champions League and on Thursday fell to ZPC Kariba in the local league.
Next week they face USM Alger of Algeria in the Champions League.