Kaindu refuses to give up

HARARE - Kelvin Kaindu says Highlanders still believe they can win this season’s Castle Premiership title despite his team’s recent nosedive, which has coincided with rivals and champions Dynamos’ red-hot form.

The Zambian tactician stated that only past games were over, but not the championship as according to him the three-point gap between his team and Dynamos was only a difference of one game.

The Bulawayo giants gave themselves a confidence booster with Sunday’s convincing 3-1 victory over city neighbours How Mine in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals at Hartsfield Rugby Ground in Bulawayo.

Former Chicken Inn captain Felix Chindungwe scored in the first half while defender Dumisani Ndlovu and enterprising forward Charles Sibanda got a goal each in the second half before Kuda Musharu scored How Mine’s consolation in the dying stages of the game.

“It was a good response especially coming from a defeat,” a relieved Kaindu told the Daily News yesterday in reference to his team’s 4-1 annihilation by Dynamos last week in a cup game.

“Only a few teams can respond by bagging three goals after such a defeat and the criticism that we got. The race is still on because there’s no team that has been confirmed to have won the title. What’s important is that we take each game as is it comes.”

The Highlanders executive read the riot act after the team’s recent slump in form.

A raft of changes was made, the highlight being the axing of captain Innocent Mapuranga, who lost his arm-band to goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.

Bustling striker Njabulo Ncube was suspended for two weeks with part of his salary being forfeited while midfielder Johannes Ngodzo were given final written warnings as management seek to instil discipline in the side.

Kaindu, however, defended the change in captaincy, insisting the off-field events that led to the shake-up and disciplinary action had nothing to do with the form loss.

“The changes did not really had any impact on the performance and as for Aerial; modern football trends demands that you have a goalkeeper as the captain and hopefully he will fare well with the added responsibility,” added Kaindu.

Highlanders last won the league title back in 2006. Since then, they have played second fiddle to fiercest rivals Dynamos, being edged to the championship on goal difference in the last two seasons.

With eight games to go in the season, Dynamos find themselves at the summit of the league again, edging out Highlanders by three points.

And having found form in the business end of the season where they are known to usually give away very little, Calisto Pasuwa’s men are now odds-on favourites to clinch an incredible fourth title in a row.

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