Pagels asks for patience

HARARE - Zimbabwe national football coach Klaus-Dieter Pagles has asked the nation to be patient with his new Warriors project after the weekend defeat to Egypt in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

The warriors, who are already out of reckoning for a place in Brazil next year, were trounced 4-2 by the Pharaohs at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The defeat left Zimbabwe bottom of Group G with only a single point from four points while Egypt now only need two points from their remaining two matches to reach the final qualifying phase.

Pagels, who was only taking charge of his second competitive match, says it’s too early to judge his rebuilding exercise that he was tasked to do after the country failed to qualify for the last four editions of the African Nations Cup.

“That defeat on Sunday doesn’t matter. We are on a re-building process and it needs time,” Pagels told reporters after the Warriors’ morning training session yesterday.

“You cannot expect these guys to learn in this short space of time. They cannot master everything in only two important matches.

“I think if we get 10 more games of this magnitude, guys will get to the level we want. They have showed they are really a good team, but they need time.

“Some of these players need time, like (defender) Felix (Chindungwe). In Zambia he played well then he came back to play in front of his home fans. He was nervous and made mistakes.”

The Warriors will travel to Conakry to face second-placed Guinea at the Stade du 28 September on Sunday without midfielders Khama Billiat and Matthew Rusike, who have been ruled out with muscle injuries.

Talismanic striker Knowledge Musona who scored Warriors’ first goal also Egypt also suffered a recurrence injury on his hamstring and will have to pass a late fitness test.

Guinea trounced Mozambique 6-1 at home on Sunday and would want an outright win against the Warriors at the same time praying that Mozambique beat or at least hold group leaders Egypt to enhance their chances of qualifying to the next round.

“Khama and Matthew we will have to send them back to their clubs for further assessment. They need really proper treatment on their injuries,” said Pagels.

“They have problems with their muscles and they are definitely out of the Guinea match. Masimba Mambare and Erick Chipeta are coming in as their replacements.

“Our last two matches against Guinea and Mozambique are really important to us. We have to go and play these matches.

“We are re-building which means we need these matches of this magnitude so that players can improve.

“We don’t need to go there and improve a little bit but we want to go and win the match. The plan is to give players who played against Egypt a second chance.

“If there are no more injuries we will come up with the team that played on Sunday.” - Godknows Matarutse

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