Warriors coach, Sunday ‘Mhofu’ Chidzambwa, has said that his team lacked adequate preparations ahead of the return leg of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) 2018 Qualifiers against Namibia in Harare on Sunday.
The Warriors lost 5-4 on penalties after the match had ended 1-1 on aggregate after a superb Prince Dube 40th minute strike. The Warriors bowed out during CHAN qualifiers for the first time in the history of the tournament.
Speaking to members of the media after crashing out of the tournament, the veteran ZPC Kariba coach said the squad had a short time to prepare for the match against the ‘Brave Warriros’ of Namibia.
“. . . we had less time to prepare for this tournament, the only time we trained with the full squad was on Friday. That’s the only day we had the full squad in training. In these tournaments you need a bit of time to prepare. I think our counterparts (Namibia) were in camp since they left COSAFA tournament, so you don’t really prepare a team well in a short space of time,” he said.
The three time COSAFA Castle Cup winning coach has come under fire from critics with accusations of poor selection of players for the tournament.
The former Dynamos coach, who led the Warriors to their fifth COSAFA Castle Cup title a fortnight ago, has been accused of leaving out players such as Ngezi Platinum Stars centre back and captain, Patson Jaure, CAPS United fullback and captain, Hardlife Zvirekwi, CAPS United fullback, Ronald Pfumbidzai, and Dynamos goalkeeper, Tonderayi Mateyaunga.
Chidzambwa, however, bemoaned the forced changes which he said hampered the team’s preparations ahead of their reverse fixture.
“We were missing a couple of players through forced changes. Ocean Mushure is injured, Gerald Takwara is not feeling well, he’s down with flu, Talent Chawapiwa went away to his new home, so we were forced to make many changes”, he said.
“We played reasonably well, taking into consideration that it’s a new team. We had only two guys in the starting line-up who played in the COSAFA tournament.
“However, in this game we were unlucky, as a new team we defended very well and we should have actually fought to find a second goal, which we couldn’t do, but otherwise, we played well, I’m pleased with their performance since we had only one day training in camp.”