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Bosso legend blasts Highlanders players



By Lovemore Dube Senior Sports Editor

FORMER Highlanders FC goalscoring sensation Tobias Mudyambanje has challenged the team’s players to pick themselves up and restore the glory days to the Bulawayo giants.

Mudyambanje, nicknamed Flashdance during his heydays and now a successful development coach, believes the onus is now on the players to dust themselves up and redeem lost pride because the team’s playing woes could not just be blamed on the technical team as players also needed to pull up their socks and grind positive results.

 He remained hopeful that Bosso could still land the championship but said the chances were however getting slimmer as the team was failing to get points from matches it should have.

TOBIAS-MUDYAMBANJE

 “The title is slipping away. The challenge is that when you lose two points to Dynamos you fall by six points behind them. There are still some difficult games to go but for Dynamos most will be in Harare even if they are away.

 “Players will have to lift themselves up in the remaining matches. They have to be more convincing than the 45 minute team they have been,” said Mudyambanje.

 The former Bosso and Olympics striker said he was worried about the team’s endurance because of late Highlanders have been failing to lift up their game in the second half of every match suggesting that their fitness levels were not up to scratch.

 Not only have they been found wanting with lasting the entire match on their feet, they have played second fiddle in tactics with most substitutions put to waste.

 “In the second half of the match they are often worn out. Even the substitutions fail to change the complexion of the game. At this stage of the season one does not expect them to be tiring so easily as if they are not match fit, they need the endurance to last matches if they are to rescue the championship and win tournaments,” said Mudyambanje.

 He said the challenge also lay in players changing their attitudes and having a renewed vigour to win.

“They need to know who they are playing for, its not themselves but the nation and sponsors as well. It is sickening to find Highlanders struggling at home against Bantu Rovers, Buffaloes and How Mine. We would not lose derbies during our days and nowadays we see these boys taking it easy as if there is no pride at stake at all.

“So the players have been a let down too. They have failed to justify why they are playing for the club. It’s like they are just out to fulfil a duty. That spark and zeal accompanied by passion for the club is missing,” said the former cup winning striker with Bosso.

He also criticised the technical team for teaching old dogs new tricks.

“There is no point in ignoring the junior policy, disregarding the football network in the province and region for talent from elsewhere when the base is there. Locals play for their community and are worried about the reaction they will face at home when they are not performing but an outsider will hide himself in his room and have no one in the community to duck because of mediocre performances.

 “They should have the guts to go for younger players and teach them to play in positions that they are best suited for. No player should have a position created for him when there is a younger star to groom,” said Mudyambanje.

 Erick Mudzingwa, who has starred in midfield and central defence, has of late been deployed at right back. He was as pathetic as the rest of the players with the exception of Ariel Sibanda and Felix Chindungwe in the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup convincingly won 4-1 by DeMbare on Saturday.

Pressure is mounting on the coaches to step down and the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final match against How Mine presents them with an opportunity to prove themselves and justify their positions.

Highlanders needs the money from these tournaments to settle debts some of which are owed to serving stars and former players and coaches.

Tensions are high and there are calls for a clear out of players at the end of the season.

Poor performances might lead to bad attendances which could hit the broke club in the pocket.

“There is a need for the Bosso family to stay united and cheer the boys up to the end. They know what is expected of them and all they have to do is to pick themselves up and deliver. It’s not too late, they can rescue the season,” said Mudyambanje - Chronicle Sports.