Gorowa puts brave face

HARARE – Despite shoddy preparations that have characterised their rescheduled African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier against Zambia on Sunday, Warriors coach Ian Gorowa was putting on a brave face ahead of the tie.

The Warriors were initially scheduled to resume training on Tuesday but were forced to abandon their preparations after the Premier Soccer League (PSL) arranged mid-week matches across the country.

The move to slot in mid-week fixtures left the Warriors with no option but to cancel their preparations and only re-grouped yesterday morning at Gwanzura Stadium, where they went through their paces.

Gorowa, who plunges into his third task at the helm of the Warriors, however expressed confidence in his players ahead of tomorrow’s match.

“Obviously there is no preparation, we grouped today (yesterday) and some of the guys did not even train today,” Gorowa said after the morning session.

“The few guys who trained today are the ones who didn’t play 90 minutes in the mid-week games.

“The good thing is that we were with the players last week so we have to utilise what we did then and hopefully some of them still remember what we did. We have to do with what we have. We met on a Friday and we have to play on Sunday.

“But that’s the nature of our football. I cannot blame anybody. Zifa tried their best and PSL wanted the matches to be played. We just need to try and adjust to this situation. We need to do our best and prepare for the game. 

“We have to give it a go. I know what happened during the week and players should just understand that a big game is a big game even if you are tired. I am hoping the players will deliver.” 

The Dynamos duo of fullback Oscar Machapa and goalkeeper George Chigova are the new faces in the squad.

Machapa was called up to replace left-back and club mate Augustine Mbara, who sustained a groin injury in DeMbare’s 1-0 win over Motor Action midweek while Chigova is coming in as a cover for Munyaradzi Diya, who was injured in training last week.

FC Platinum striker Nelson Maziwisa was expected to join camp last night while How Mine forward Simba Sithole was ruled out of the tie as he was reportedly out of the country on trials at South Africa’s AmaZulu. 

“Oscar is a versatile player and we need his experience. I looked at him and felt he can offer more in terms of experience. He is now locally-based and we can utilise his experience,” Gorowa said of the former Moroka Swallows utility man.

The Warriors were scheduled to host Chipolopolo at Rufaro last Sunday but the match was cancelled after Cameroonian referee Aurelien Juenkou and his assistants Fuanta Joseph Lambi, Elvis Noupue and Christopher Nde failed to make it in time for the match.

The quartet was stranded in transit at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi after fire gutted the arrival terminal last week.

The Zambians were expected to jet in Harare yesterday.

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