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Highlanders fans call for change

by Staff reporter
14 Oct 2023 at 07:30hrs | Views
Highlanders FC fans have been increasingly dissatisfied with the team's recent performance. The team has been struggling to achieve positive results, and the frustration has primarily been directed at the forwards who have faced challenges in scoring goals.

It's reasonable for fans to feel frustrated, as a team's success often hinges on its ability to score goals. However, it's unfair to single out Lynoth Chikuhwa for criticism when all the strikers on the team have scored fewer than three goals. Calvin Chigonero and Stanley Ngala, other strikers for Bosso, have managed two goals each, just like Chikuhwa, while Washington Navaya has scored only once.

Interestingly, the leading goal-scorer at Highlanders is holding midfielder Melikhaya Ncube, with three goals. This may explain why Coach Baltemar Brito was adamant about acquiring the services of Obriel Chirinda, who is the top goal-scorer in the league with 11 goals.

Joel Luphahla, the individual responsible for training the team's strikers, has now shared his perspective on their challenges in front of the goal. It remains to be seen whether Highlanders can reverse their performance and start scoring more goals.

He mentioned, "At times when you are playing for a team like Highlanders, you find yourself under pressure when things are not going well. I think this thing of not scoring goals has been discussed extensively to the point that when people focus too much on strikers not scoring, we as coaches try to introduce a different dimension. If we keep echoing what is being said out there, such as you guys are not scoring, we will put these guys under even more pressure."

Luphahla shared that they have altered their approach in training the strikers. He added, "Even in our training, we aim to change and emphasize the psychological aspect of it. Unfortunately, some of the boys are still young and have not experienced playing at this level, especially when the team is contending for a championship, and the pressure gets to them."

He admitted that his players have lost confidence and explained, "Sometimes we miss chances that we shouldn't be missing, but I try to focus more on the psychological aspect. We have stopped dwelling on the missed opportunities and instead aim to make the game more enjoyable and relaxing for the players. You can see that these boys are no longer enjoying football in the way they play. We are trying to reset to our default settings and hope to surpass the achievements of our top goal-scorer from the previous season."

Luphahla remains optimistic that the goals will come. He said, "I've been telling them that we can score more goals in the last eight games. We could potentially score three goals in each game. I'm not saying it will happen, but in football, anything is possible. We hope these boys rise to the occasion."

In the absence of Coach Brito, Luphahla and Madinda Ndlovu will lead the Bosso technical team as they face Cranborne Bullets at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday. Highlanders are currently six points behind league leaders Ngezi Platinum as they head into week 27 fixtures this weekend.

Highlanders recently suffered a disheartening three-nil defeat against Simba Bhora at Baobab Stadium. They are aiming to return to their winning ways when they face Cranborne Bullets at Barbourfields Stadium.

Out of their last six league matches, Bosso has only secured one victory. During this period, they faced losses to Chicken Inn, FC Platinum, and Simba Bhora, while drawing with Sheasham. Additionally, they are expected to lose points from their abandoned game against Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium. Their last victory came against Yadah Stars.

Match day 27 fixtures

Today: Herentals v Yadah (National Sports Stadium), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Chicken Inn (Baobab), Manica Diamonds v Dynamos (Gibbo), Bulawayo Chiefs v Simba Bhora (Luveve), ZPC Kariba v FC Platinum (Nyamhunga), Black Rhinos v GreenFuel (Bata)
Tomorrow: Triangle v Hwange (Gibbo), Highlanders v Cranborne Bullets (Barbourfields), Caps United v Sheasham (National Sports Stadium)

Source - The Chronicle