Bosso Players Feeling the Home Pressure: Gidiza

Former Zimbabwe national team midfielder, Ronald ‘Gidiza’ Sibanda, believes the pressure of playing before expectant home fans could be contributing to Highlanders players’ poor performances so far at Barbourfields Stadium.

Ronald ‘Gidiza’ Sibanda
Ronald ‘Gidiza’ Sibanda

The Bulawayo giants have lost three of their last four matches in Bulawayo, most recent of those being their 2-1 defeat to Chicken Inn last Sunday. Former Amazulu and Zimbabwe Saints star Sibanda was convinced that the Highlanders players could turn in better performances if they forgot about the expectations of the fans on the terraces.

“Highlanders are a big side, just like Dynamos, and their fans demand a lot. What the players are lacking now is confidence to express themselves, feel free and do what they know best. I think those boys are too much under pressure,” said Gidiza in a recent interview.

Highlanders supporters have turned against coach Mafu each time they have lost at home and Sunday was no different, with the Soweto end breaking into chants directed at the former Zimbabwe Saints mentor. But Sibanda felt Mafu needed a bit more time to imprint his philosophy on the team.

“Mafu is a new coach and you cannot expect everything to just flow like that. It will take time for the players to understand his methods, but now the boys are under too much pressure to perform. Basically, they are not a bad side as far as I am concerned because they have been creating chances,” he said.

With a third of the season gone, Highlanders have won four and lost a similar number out of their 10 matches, two of which have been draws. The loss to Chicken saw them slide to eighth position on the log with 14 points, nine behind the Game Cocks, who currently lead the pack.

Upcoming fixtures look punishing for Bosso and could seal Mafu’s fate at the arguably the country’s second biggest club. Highlanders play Wha-Wha in their next assignment. Things will then get trickier with ties against FC Platinum (away), How Mine (away) Dynamos (away) and Triangle (home) completing their programme in the first half of the season.

Post published in: Football

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