We cannot relax – Pasuwa

HARARE - Zimbabwe national football team coach Calisto Pasuwa says Saturday’s win over Malawi should not be used as a smokescreen to cover up the chaos that rocked the Warriors’ camp.

An ill-prepared Warriors side defied all odds to beat the Flames 2-1 at Kamuzu Stadium in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Group L qualifier.

The squad had barely trained after only grouping for camp on Tuesday night following the intervention of Sports minister Andrew Langa, who convinced Pasuwa to name a squad for the tie.

The former Dynamos coach had refused to commit his services to the team as he was owed his salaries by the Zimbabwe Football Association.

On Thursday, the players refused to go to the airport for their flight to Blantyre as they demanded their allowances and match fees.

The players finally left on Friday midday for the Malawian capital by road following a commitment from Walter Magaya, leader of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance ministries, to pay them their dues.          

Despite this chaos, Zimbabwe stunned the Flames in their own backyard a result which cost coach Young Chimodzi his job.

Speaking shortly after the Warriors’ arrival at Harare International Airport, yesterday Pasuwa said a lot still needed to be done.   

“Of course we managed to win in Malawi but that should not give us any reason to relax and say everything is in order,” he said.

“There is a lot that we still need to do in terms of preparing the team. Most of the guys are now on off-season and you could see we were trying to slow down the tempo of the game and try to catch them on the break.

“We couldn’t go toe-to-toe against Malawi but I’m happy for the boys because they managed to pull off a result.

“We tried to sit back as we tried to be more compact and attack them on the break as we reserved our energy for the second half since we had arrived on the morning of the game.

Pasuwa added: “If we had prepared well especially in terms of fitness levels, it could have helped us last the distance and maybe get more goals.We need these boys to be in camp for a very long time. Some of these boys are in the Under-23 team and they were coming to meet new teammates in the senior team for the first time.

“So we need cohesion in the team to get results. The players also need to be motivated all the times. You saw what happened last week. Players need to concentrate on playing football instead of looking at other distractions which are in the circle of football.”

Warriors captain Willard Katsande said Saturday’s result gives the team a good platform to qualify for the Afcon tournament in Gabon.

“Nobody gave us a chance but we managed to get a result,” he said. “This was the first game of this campaign and we kick-started it very well by getting three points away from home.

“Now we just need to focus on the second game and try to get maximum points when we play at home. Obviously, we are playing against a big team; Guinea and we need to be at our best to get three points.

“We are not going to relax against Guinea because of the result they got against Swaziland. They are a powerhouse and have qualified for previous Afcon finals.

“For us we need to be at our best and polish up our game so that we get three points when we play against them a home.”

The Kaizer Chiefs midfielder said better preparations were needed for the Warriors to be part of the cast in Gabon in 2017.

“We need to sit down now and get our preparations for the next game in order because we need to qualify for the Afcon finals,” he said.

“Everyone in the team is singing the same song that we need to qualify for the tournament so that we can rub shoulders with the best players in Africa.”

Comments (3)

Go Worriors Go...u defined all odds..keep going guys till the finals in Gabon..We are behind you even corrupt Zifa is not.

nasy o - 17 June 2015

enough respect to magaya fr showing love tht u always preach.go worriors go

walter - 17 June 2015

thank u guys for making us proud pasuwa kip on kipin on

augustine nzirayegaza - 19 June 2015

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