Mugove Chigada, Sports Reporter
. . . 23 players used so far
…Harrison fights player power
TWENTY-three players have been part of Harare City’s first XI in the first eight games of the 2019 PSL season, a summary of Mark Harrison’s battle to steady the ship.
Although there is nothing wrong with player rotation, this in many ways, is a frightening statistic which has however been a combination of many factors.
In contrast, log leaders CAPS United have used just 13 players in the same number of games and Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges have left an impression difficult to ignore.
Harrison has not divulged all factors leading to the massive changes of his first XI, but H-Metro understands one of the reasons has been his battle to thwart player power.
This has come with an inconsistent run that has also put the coach’s job on the line, amid speculation that he was sitting on an ultimatum before the Triangle 2-1 win.
Yesterday the club’s secretary general Mathew Marara however said they are behind their coach and will give him maximum support to achieve set goals.
“The coach’s job is safe,” Marara said. “When a team is not doing well, we simply cannot blame the coach. We have to look at other variables.”
Harare City have so far won three games, drawn one and lost four in a run they have a negative two goal difference.
That no team has lost more than four games in a season and then go on to win the league since PSL increased teams to 18, is a brutal reminder of how tough life will be for the remainder of the season.
This comes at a time goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu was removed from the captaincy and booted out of the final squads for some matches along with some senior players, including star Moses Muchenje.
Marshal Machazane is now the new captain.
Harrison announced first the changes after the 1-0 win over Chapungu at Mandava, without giving more details of his battles off the pitch.
Asked on the suspensions and massive reshuffles by the technical team, SG Marara said they do not involve themselves in technical issues.
“I think in regards to that, the coaches are best placed to talk about that. We play our role as management in the best way we can to support the team,” he said.
Against Manica Diamonds, Harrison started with Maxwell Nyamupangedengu, Marshal Machazane, Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Moses Muchenje, Milton Ncube, Raymond Uchena, Walter Mukanga, Tatenda Tavengwa, Ishmael Wadi, Martin Vengesayi and Wilfred Muvirimi.
Against Highlanders, other players to start were Kelvin Shangiwa, Gareth Madhake, Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye, Learnmore Muyambo, Kuda Musharu and Tatenda Tumba.
Against Bulawayo Chiefs, other new faces to the first eleven were Peter Moyo, Pio Tellmore, Colin Mujuru, Jerry Chipanga and William Manondo. Denzel Chimwemwe was also in the starting XI against Triangle.
The list of games is not necessarily in the order that the players were first introduced into the starting eleven.
The speculation that the technical team had received an ultimatum after a string of poor results, before the Triangle 2-1 win, added to the pressure.
“We cannot just look at a soft target and act without looking at the broader picture,” Marara said.
“The correct position is that we will meet as an executive to find ways we can best assist the technical team to give us the required results.
“We will review our strategy to see if we are still moving in the direction we set ourselves. The coaches need as much support as they can to help them get results.”
Reality now is either the executive will help Harrison deal with player power issues or watch as he loses the dressing room and the philosophy.
Harrison was frank yesterday saying they played badly against Triangle but were fortunate to get a result.