UNDER-FIRE Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu has turned up the heat on his players by increasing the number and intensity of physical drills since the beginning of the week.
However, Kaindu said the only change to the sessions has been the approach. “We just want everyone to have a different approach to our remaining games. I don’t think we have been that hard on them but our programmes are different depending on the type of opposition we are facing,” said Kaindu.
Kaindu: Feels the pressure (Photo: Chronicle)
Bosso take on ZPC Kariba on Sunday.
Players who spoke to Chronicle Sport on condition they are not named described this week’s sessions as “unlike Highlanders” and “very physical” as the Zambian tries to save his job following the Premiership title ultimatum given to him by his employers on Monday.
The ultimatum was given after their 0-1 loss to Harare City in a league match at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday which left the Mbada Diamonds Cup holders and Chibuku Super Cup semi-finalists four points behind their perennial rivals and reigning league champions Dynamos.
Highlanders’ weekend loss in the capital was their second in as many trips after DeMbare mauled them 4-1 in the TM Supermarkets Challenge Cup at the National Sports Stadium on September 6.
“It was not normal business on Tuesday as the coach told us that the executive took a swipe at him following the loss. He was not the Kaindu we have known since 2012 and if we thought he was joking, his hard talk clearly manifested itself on the field,” said a senior player.
Another player confirmed that their sessions have become very hard with taxing drills being incorporated.
“Bro, kuyafiwa these days in our sessions and I can safely tell you that if it was possible some people could have been offloaded this week as the coach seems to have a feeling that they are sabotaging him,” said the player.
Other players, while confirming the change of business operations during training sessions accused Kaindu of having favourite players who never get substituted even if they perform below expectations.
The Zambian said every player in his squad is putting up 100 percent effort as they try to lift the club from where it is now.
“These are the same players that have given us smiles before and I believe this is the time to give them the much needed moral support and as the technical bench we still have confidence and belief in them that they will deliver us to our destination,” said Kaindu.
Asked whether he has been under pressure he said: “Football is a pressure game, as coaches we are taught how to handle pressure and that’s what makes football exciting, no pressure no football,” said the Zambian.
Meanwhile, ZPC Kariba arrived in the city last night and are expected to have a training session at the match venue tomorrow evening after the How Mine versus Chicken Inn match.
The visitors, whose performance in their debut top flight campaign has been as dramatic as their entry, will be without defender Obey Mwerahari.
Their goalkeeper, Tendai Hove, who has conceded the least number of goals this season at 15, has already described the Highlanders encounter as a do or die match that must be treated as a final.
Tomorrow: How Mine v Chicken Inn (Hartsfield), FC Platinum v Buffaloes (Mandava), Chapungu v Chiredzi (Ascot), Black Rhinos v Caps United (Rimuka).
Sunday: Dynamos v Shabanie Mine ( Rufaro), Triangle United v Harare City (Gibbo), Highlanders v ZPC Kariba (Hartsfield) - Chronicle Sport.