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Players back underfire Loga

by Staff reporter
31 Jan 2021 at 09:58hrs | Views
SOME senior players in the Chan Warriors squad have thrown their weight behind underfire coach Zdravko Logarusic (pictured) following the team's dismal performance at the ongoing continental football tournament.

Logarusic has been a subject of ridicule from Warriors fans among them coaches and former players after overseeing Zimbabwe's worst performance at the competition.

Zimbabwe crashed out of the event without a single point after losing to hosts Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Mali respectively.

There has been talk of Loga clashing with some players because of the tactics, claims which were publicly rubbished by team manager Wellington Mpandare.

"I don't think it's fair to blame the coach for the performance in Cameroon considering the background of our preparations. The coach did his best under the circumstances and as players we also gave our all, but the results did not come," said one player.

Considering that the country failed to resume league football the whole of last year, the Warriors only began initial preparations in early December, less than a month and a half before the tournament began.

The team also lost two weeks of preparation after 16 players and staff tested positive for Covid-19.

"It cannot be the coach's fault that the players were not matchfit. But the coach understood that and tried to help the team play to its strengths. It's just unfortunate that it didn't pay off, but as players we were fully behind the coach. The morale in the camp was high all the time and we played as a team and lost as a team," said  another senior player, who also requested anonymity.

Zifa presidential aspirant and former Warriors star Alois Bunjira shared his sentiments on what could have gone wrong in this campaign.

"We lost because we didn't prepare. We never took the tournament seriously as we were just content with making the trip. The authorities never cared about going there to do well. Who conducts trials at a tournament? Three goalkeepers in three matches with different squads in three matches showed we didn't have a clue on what we were doing there. Who goes into a tournament without a team?" Bunjira quizzed.

"Chan is not for development. Players are developed in the Under-15, Under-20 and Under-23 age groups. Players are developed in friendly matches. When we develop these players, we are developing them so that in future we go with them to tournaments like Cosafa, Chan, Afcon and World Cup to win the tournaments," he said.

Bunjira is of the view that Logarusic should take responsibility for what happened in Cameroon.

"He is hugely responsible for the tragic results at the Chan. He didn't prepare the team. He had the opportunity and he didn't use it. We didn't have a league running and that was a perfect opportunity to assemble the team much early and condition the players,' he said.

"Even in the short time he assembled and got camp, he was busy doing trials, wasting precious time. The Covid-19 outbreak in camp could have even come from some of those matches outside the team bubble. I don't know if Zifa should fire him, but he is largely to blame."

Source - the standard