A FORMER technical director at Highlanders Academy, Isaac Mbedzi has defended under-fire head coach Baltemar Brito saying the Bulawayo giants need to engage an experienced striker in the upcoming mid-season transfer window to deliver the much-needed goals.
He called on the club’s fans not to press the panic button yet.
Mbedzi is based in Canada and is owner and technical director of First Mobile Soccer Academy (FMSA) which has an extension in Zimbabwe that plays in the Zifa Bulawayo Province Division Two League and the junior leagues.
His sentiments came after the Bulawayo giants played their fifth consecutive draw when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Green Fuel at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Mbedzi said there is nothing amiss with the Brito-led technical department.
During the Sunday draw, supporters started trickling out of the stadium before the final whistle, a sign that they were not happy after another mid-week draw against Dynamos at BF.
But Mbedzi believes that the team is on the right track.
“Highlanders FC are in a very good position and shape. What it needs now is for the Bosso family to stay calm together and try to get an experienced striker to lead the boys from the front. No need to panic; the mid-season window is about to open and your team is up there challenging and the boys are refusing to lose games but also not scoring enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the coaches and please refuse to be divided or to be put in the panic mode. The team is systematically eliminating all unnecessary bad records without fear or favour. Let’s beef up the squad,” Mbedzi said.
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After one or two fans suggested on social media that Brito must leave, Mbedzi responded: “It’s ok to have such choruses, but we need a bit of sincere critical analysis of everything than our usual planted self-destructive rat poison-laced narratives aimed at derailing our team always when something good happens. We are fresh from winning the Uhuru Cup, beaten teams away from home after over three years, managed to beat Rhinos away after over six years if I am not mistaken. We are now fighting from the top and not from bottom.”
Highlanders sit on position two on the log table with 19 points from 11 games, having won four times and drawn seven games.
From a possible 21 points from the seven draws, they have managed a meagre seven points.
Of the eight goals Highlanders have scored in 11 games, strikers Calvin Chigonero has scored two and Stanley Ngala and Washington Navaya one apiece with the other goals coming from midfielders Mckinnon Mushore and Melikhaya Ncube, defender Peter Muduhwa and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda.
“We are either choosing to forget the Bosso history and playing culture or maybe we are too young to know it. Highlanders used to thrive on producing competitive strikers; always top three in top goal scorer cycle, players dominating all national teams from Young Warriors to (senior) Warriors and players like Willard Khumalo, who graced the Soccer Star calendar nearly every season of their Bosso playing times. Zifa used to select Bosso for the Soccer Star Awards matches because of order and playing spirit. We brought a coach (Brito) confident of rebuilding that foundation and the best we can do is support him than confuse ourselves,” Mbedzi added.