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'Give Bosso players respect'

by Staff reporter
06 Jun 2023 at 06:21hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS Football Club coach Baltemar Brito believes his players have done reasonably well to get the team within the championship chasing group.

Bosso are second on the table with 22 points from 12 outings. They trail leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars who edged Yadah 1-0 yesterday at the National Sports Stadium by a point.

There is a significant improvement on the number of points that Highlanders have amassed after 12 games compared to what they had at this stage of the 2021/22 championship. Last season, Highlanders had 14 points from 12 games.

Bosso had managed three wins, five draws and four defeats, conceding 10 goals which included the three that were handed to FC Platinum on a 3-0 scoreline for the abandoned league match played at Mandava Stadium. Highlanders had scored 12 goals, averaging a goal per match.

This season, despite blowing a perfect opportunity to lead the championship race with a good margin as they drew five consecutive games in May which allowed teams below to catch-up, Highlanders have improved statistically.

Bosso is the only team yet to lose a game in the 2023 championship, managing five wins and seven draws. They've scored nine goals and conceded just three in the process.

The results have been posted with Highlanders using the bulk of last season's squad that Brito inherited from Mandla Lulu Mpofu who is now based in Botswana.

Highlanders' May draws against Sheasham, Simba Bhora, Dynamos, Cranborne Bullets and Greenfuel attracted heavy criticism of their play.

Speaking after Bosso ended a five-match winless streak – drawing all the five games played in May – by edging Bulawayo Chiefs 1-0 on Sunday at Barbourfields Stadium, Brito said it was unfair to criticize his team when they were going through draws.

"We won, people were criticizing too much but even after five draws we stayed close to the top. If we look to the past, when we came here, how many years Highlanders didn't stay at the top? How many years Highlanders doesn't win away? How many years they are not champions? But people criticize without respect for these amazing players.

We're doing our job and even in bad moments, people should respect these boys but because they had five draws, this doesn't mean they were bad because they stayed close to the top," said Brito.

Highlanders' winning goal against Bulawayo Chiefs came through a combination of central defenders, with Peter Muduhwa providing an assist that was headed in by Mbongeni Ndlovu.

Bosso displayed one of their worst shows against Bulawayo Chiefs, with Brito admitting that they had to "park the bus" and absorb pressure from their opponents who enjoyed superior goal difference.

The Highlanders gaffer also admitted that they had better displays when they drew some of their games compared to the one that they gave against Bulawayo Chiefs.

Key to note in Highlanders last three games is that Brito has continuously tweaked with his starting team, especially the attack where seasoned strikers Stanley Ngala and Lynoth Chikuhwa have been coming from the bench with Calvin Chigonero and Elshamar Farasi preferred forwards.

The Highlanders gaffer is now looking forward to his next assignment against Caps United who lost 2-1 to Cranborne Bullets at the weekend.

"We are going to Harare to play against a good Caps United team. They made an investment to their squad at the beginning of the season, they lost to Cranborne. Maybe Cranborne are now a top team because when we played them they were weak, but now it looks like they're a good team. We go to Caps United hoping to collect maximum points," said Brito.

Source - The Chronicle
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