Isolated Akbay weighed down

BULAWAYO - Highlanders coach Erol Akbay has bemoaned the absence of his two assistant coaches,  Amini Soma Phiri and Cosmos “Tsano” Zulu who were last weeksuspended by the club over a litany of charges which include indiscipline.

The duo is yet to appear before a disciplinary committee as the club is still working on appointing a team to hear the matter.

Speaking to journalists during his weekly press conference, Akbay said the development has piled pressure on his duties.

“I have to do everything by myself and that puts me under pressure, my assistant now is a coach from (Highlanders) Division One (Shepherd Mabaleka) and he doesn’t know my philosophy yet.

“Sometimes it’s very difficult for me to explain to him (Mabaleka) what he needs to do so I end up training two groups all the time to make sure I get attention to the players.

“It’s difficult to work with a big group; it’s easier when working with a small group because I can see as a coach the weak and strong sides of the players.”

Despite the in-house problems at the club regarding Phiri and Zulu, Akbay said he would try his best to prepare for a tough encounter against city rivals How Mine this weekend.

Club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube said it was business as usual at one of the country’s oldest clubs despite the suspensions of its key coaching members.

“The team is training as usual with no interruptions necessitated by the fact that the two assistant coaches are on suspension because of various acts which were considered matters of misdemeanour,” he said.

“In our view, it was dragging the club’s image and performance and fluidity in a direction that we didn’t want.”

He added: “Our position as a club is that we take ourselves seriously so as to be taken seriously. We will always take matters of indiscipline seriously it doesn’t matter where they happen.”

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