Snodia Mikiri, Sports Reporter
Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu said players’ match fitness worries him.
The Bosso legend on Saturday defended his sluggish start to the campaign saying it was due to poor pre-season preparations.
Highlanders had short pre-season time as compared to other teams as their players were on strike for more than three weeks, demanding their unpaid dues.
Highlanders are yet to win a match this season after five games.
They have managed three points out of the possible 15.
“The reason why we are not doing well or to even better what we did last season is because we did not prepare well.
“We did not do right preparations and in football it’s very simple. If you don’t prepare well you are preparing to fail.
“Some of our players have picked up, they can now endure the whole ninety minutes, but some can’t. We are relying on match fitness,” said Madinda.
He said they brought in new talented players, who have the capacity to get them to where they want to be, but they are not yet well equipped.
Despite not winning, Madinda said he has picked some positives.
“We lost a number of players and we brought in new replacements. And we did not have proper pre-season preparations.
“The new players still need to be taught the way of handling business here at Highlanders.
“They are good players but we need them to get to the standards required here and only then we will play our traditional football we played last season. The players are still blending themselves,” he said.
“The good thing is we are creating a lot of chances and we are missing them. That is a positive thing on its own.
“When all things are equal we will convert those chances to goals. Things will go our way soon.
“This is a marathon. It’s not always about the take-off that matters in a marathon. How you finish matters the most,” he added.
Madinda said called for patience.
He said they will need more time to put their house in order.
He believes he has quality players who will get him the desired results when they are fully fit.
He believes the team has what it takes to still challenge for the honours this season.
He said the players are under pressure.
“We played fantastic game against Dynamos in the Uhuru cup. The boys did not have any pressure. They had to come in and play. They showcased themselves very well.
“They were passing the ball well and they did get us a win. But you cannot do that when you are looking for points.
“The ability of the player to run comes without pressure. They are under pressure to get positive results,” said Madinda.