Discord at Highlanders

BULAWAYO - A war of words has broken out at Highlanders after the Bulawayo giants suffered their fourth Castle Lager Premiership defeat on the trot when they went down 1-0 to Chapungu at the weekend. 

Ever since coach Erol Akbay announced that he is not renewing his contract last month, Bosso have been on a free-fall.

On Sunday, Bosso went down to the Air Force of Zimbabwe side and could now find themselves in a relegation scrap since they are now in ninth place with 32 points.

Akbay is concerned that there are no quality strikers at the club since the departure of Prince Dube who signed for South Africa’s SuperSport United, Roderick Mutuma to Yadah FC and Knox Mutizwa to Bidvest Wits.

“I had a lot of good strikers I wanted to bring in but the executive said there is no money all the time: we cannot sign anyone,” Akbay said after the game.

“That means for the coach there is nothing to do but work with the available players. You sell your good players and you still think you are left with good strikers.”

Akbay stood by his words that the team was not willing to pay money to get quality players instead opting to go for free agents.

“They told me Prince (Dube) and Roderick (Mutuma) are gone and I said then we have a little bit of salary to pay good players but it was not possible because they did nothing,” he said.

Highlanders’ acting-chairperson Modern Ngwenya believes the team has enough forwards.

“There were nine strikers, two went away and seven remained, what does that mean?” Ngwenya said.

“It means his squad is wrong. If one player goes there should be a replacement who has the adequate skill and expertise to fill in the gap of the sold player.

“This blame game of saying the executive did not buy strikers is not true. Which players in Zimbabwe did he recommend? He is saying we did not buy strikers but which strikers? He should have told us the strikers that he wanted before leaving for Netherlands.”

Ngwenya believes Akbay must take full responsibility for the team’s poor showing and not blame the executive.

“Maybe he doesn’t trust the strikers that he recommended to the executive. Can someone tell me of a striker that he wanted and we could not buy?” Ngwenya asked.

“He wanted Obadiah Tarumbwa and the player is contracted at Chicken Inn. Naturally, a bad workman blames his tools. Do you want me to go on the field of play and score goals?”

However, Akbay feels there is leadership crisis at the club which is the reason why Bosso find themselves in this mess.

“Even Dynamos also have got no money but they signed three good players in the middle of the season,” the Dutchman said.

“That means they have got a better organisation than maybe we have. This kind of thing we are not having at Highlanders: better organisation. Even last year, they sold two good strikers and I was only asking for $10 000 or $5 000 and it was not possible to give me that money.”

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