Bulawayo Chiefs changes unsettle Brito

Innocent Kurira

HIGHLANDERS coach Baltamer Brito cannot help but think Bulawayo Chief’s change of technical team ahead of the two sides’ Chibuku Super Cup first-round meeting at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday could just be a strategy.

Perhaps, he has just cause. Chiefs knocked Bosso out of the same tournament last year in the midst of technical team chaos. Prior to that game last season, then Chiefs coach, Nilton Torreso walked out of a training session on a Thursday and watched the quarter-final tie that Chiefs won 1-0 through a Malvin Mkolo headed effort from the stands.

Thulani Sibanda, now with Triangle, led the technical team on the day.

Chiefs went on to lift the silverware, their first major trophy in the topflight league after they edged Herentals College 1-0 through an Arthur Musiyiwa strike in a final match that was played at Barbourfields Stadium.

Fast forward to this season, the two sides have been drawn to face each other in the same competition, and days before the clash, Chiefs have parted ways with coach Joseph Sibindi who has been replaced by Johanisi Nhuma.

Johanisi Nhuma is now in charge at Chiefs

A development that has had Brito thinking.

“We don’t know what they have in mind but we know we have to focus on this game. Because they have a new coach, we don’t know the approach they will bring. At least we know they have a boost in confidence after changing the coach.

“They change the coach to try and look at this competition as one possibility of having a good season but we are ready. If you remember they had a change of coach last season before they beat us in this competition.

Bulawayo Chiefs caused a huge upset in last year’s tournament

“Maybe it’s their strategy to boost the players in trying to boost a new way of positivity in the team. They used the same strategy last season but we are ready for it this season.

“They have good players if we assess them individually. We remember facing this coach last season but the coach may come up with different ideas this time around.  Sometimes the changing of the coach can have a good impact and sometimes catastrophic in our case we hope it is catastrophic,” said Brito.

Highlanders currently enjoying a good run in the league

Bosso may be enjoying a good run in the league but Brito knows a Cup game is a different game altogether.

“It’s a different competition that we want to take seriously. We are preparing knowing that they changed the coach. When a coach comes there is a boost in confidence within the players. There is an implementation of different dynamics in the teams,” said Brito.

Asked if he may be tempted to rotate his side Brito said:

“We can’t decide the starting eleven on Thursday because it would be unfair on people who will train on Friday and Saturday.

“The rotation of the team, we make it not because it’s a tradition but we make it because the people deserve it. If they do not work hard, why should we change the team? We have two sessions Friday and Saturday. Right now everyone is in contention to play,” said Brito.

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