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Kenneth Mhlophe-led management is partly to blame

by Staff reporter
31 Aug 2019 at 18:34hrs | Views
HEARTBROKEN Highlanders supporters say the Kenneth Mhlophe-led management is partly to blame for the soccer giants' poor performance. Alarm bells are ringing at Bosso whose three-game losing streak has left them a place above relegation zone, just two points above Mushowani Stars who occupy the last relegation slot with 21 points. Highlanders have lost their last three games to Caps United (2-1), Harare City (1-0) and on Thursday they were beaten 2-1 by Triangle United on a day that the club gave coaches a three-game ultimatum.

Head coach Mandla Mpofu, assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu and goalkeepers' trainer Tembo Chuma will be booted out if they lose to Mushowani Stars at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.

Highlanders are back to their first-half of the season shortcomings of being good in ball possession but impotent in front of goal. Their failure to punish teams has reduced them to a flip-flopping former giant. Fans argue that giving coaches an ultimatum is not the solution as problems on the field are a reflection of the club's leadership.

"We have a leadership crisis that is impacting on the team's performance. Look, for the past month the team hasn't been doing well and the chairman is quiet, is this really good? Why should they react when we're crashing instead of addressing the problem before it gets out of hand? We hear players sleep in the bus, some are seen at drinking places on the eve of a game and surely with this kind of indiscipline can we only blame coaches? When supporters react the same leaders will blame them," said Philani Mpofu.

Lindani Hadebe said they could not speak as they feared being labelled "hooligans" or "factionalists". "What we want is for Mhlophe to tell us what the problem is instead of trying to be diplomatic and acting as if things are normal. This is not normal.  

"The team travels late for away games and to say there was no diesel in town on Wednesday is a lie. Why had they waited for Wednesday to look for diesel? Why don't they engage companies with coupons like they used to? Why don't they open accounts with service stations? To me, someone isn't doing their work and to blame the coaches when there are problems in our own house is not fair. Personally I think it's too late to fire coaches now. Instead, let's fix our house and hope for the better," said Hadebe.

Carlmarx Nkomo said he was disappointed by "a flimsy excuse" by a club official who blamed the economic conditions for Highlanders' downfall.

"Imagine, after the game at Triangle United, a club official (name withheld) blamed the poor run, including these logistical challenges they face to economic challenges. Is this really an excuse? How are other teams in the league surviving?

"To me the problem is that we didn't have a good start and all that was because the leadership failed to manage the pre-season crisis. One may argue that we are now in the second half and players are fit but what caused us to be down is that we did not prepare.

"The other thing is that the club bosses shouldn't expect miracles when simple travelling logistics are not done well. Players need to be mentally stable and this is not possible when they leave Bulawayo late for their away games. For the Triangle game players were at the club offices by 7.30am on Wednesday but the team left after 3pm and we were told they were looking for diesel. Were they ambushed by the PSL who gave them fixtures on Tuesday? The answer is no because they got the fixture last Friday.

"These little things need to be addressed and blaming coaches alone isn't right. Abazinuke amakhwapha abadala. There's no need to keep on hiding behind economic environment," said Nkomo.

Source - chronicle