Dauda to lead Warriors

HARARE - Warriors interim coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, has assigned the armband to Yadah FC defender Dennis Dauda (pictured) for Zimbabwe’s decisive return leg against Namibia in a 2018 Kenya African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier tomorrow at the National Sports Stadium following the injury to skipper Ocean Mushure.

Mushure injured his knee in the first leg in Windhoek as the Warriors succumbed to a surprise 1-0 defeat courtesy of a Hendrik Somaeb goal.

Yesterday, Warriors assistant coach Lloyd Mutasa said they have settled for Dauda to lead the team due to his vast experience.

“You look at Dauda, he is an experienced player and you would want someone like him to lead the boys from the front. As the technical team we have no doubt he will do well in that position,” said Mutasa.

Dauda said the team would miss Mushure but insists they will go into the match to win.

“It’s very unfortunate that Mushure will not be part of us. He is an experienced guy and we would have wanted him to be available,” Dauda said to the Daily News.

“But all the same I think we have equally other good players who can fit in well. We have been working hard and I think we are now ready for the match.

“Morale is high and we are all looking forward to a big win so that we can progress to the next round.

“Of course it will not be easy but from what we have been doing at training, I have no doubt that we can over-turn the first leg deficit. We only need to stay focused and concentrate on the task at hand without putting ourselves under any pressure.”

Mushure is not the only key player who has been ruled out of the tie as FC Platinum midfielder Gerald Takwara has also been sidelined after failing to recover from a bout of flu which forced him to sit out of the first leg in Windhoek last Sunday.

Winger Talent Chawapiwa has been ruled after travelling to South Africa to complete his transfer to Baroka FC while Dynamos midfielder Denver Mukamba was dropped after he failed to report for training when the team re-grouped to start preparations for tomorrow’s match.

However, Mutasa is not worried by the absence of some of the senior players and showed confidence in those, who are available to do duty for the country.

“I think we cannot complain much. We know the kind of challenge that we are facing. We are down and we want to win this match by more than one goal which I believe is something that we can achieve,” Mutasa said.

“I think the boys are doing well and are in great shape. Of course as coaches you always want all your best players to be available but we have no control over injuries. I think we have assembled the best squad possible and we are looking forward to a good result.”

Mutasa urged fans to come in their numbers to rally behind the team.

“I have no doubt that we can win at home especially with the 12th man behind us. I hope fans will come in their numbers and rally behind the team. I am confident of getting a win and we are also eager to qualify for Chan,” Mutasa said.

The winner between Zimbabwe and Namibia over the two legs will proceed to the final round of the qualifiers to meet either Comoros or Lesotho.

Comoros head into the return leg against Lesotho carrying a healthy 2-0 lead.

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