Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa was back in front of the media ahead of the 2022 TNM Super League season opener against Mighty Wanderers on Saturday afternoon at Kamuzu Stadium.
The tactician summarized our pre-season preparations, his anticipation for the Blantyre derby, latest signings, expectations for the new season and injury update ahead of the match.
Below is the full transcript of what Pasuwa said on Thursday:
On pre-season training…
“We started very well. As you know we had four weeks of pre-season instead of six and in the fourth week, we were playing games with the new squad that we have assembled, which is very youthful and that’s the reason why we wanted the whole six weeks for us to prepare them in every aspect and physical components of football, but we were told to play our Charity Shield match [in the middle of pre-season training], which went well because the players we featured played well.
“Then we had the Bonanza in Lilongwe where we wanted to test the depth of our squad by using some of the youngsters who didn’t play in the Shield and they also fared well despite making some mistakes, which got us punished [against Silver Strikers], but the good thing is that they are learning and with time we will get there as you know preparing a player is not a one day thing, it’s a process to produce the best out of youngsters.”
On facing Mighty Wanderers on the opening day…
“We are playing Mighty Wanderers in the Blantyre derby. We are facing an experienced side which is one of the big teams in the land. As a coach, we also wanted to teach the boys to know the true meaning of a derby by knocking sense in them and some of the players who just joined us from other teams.
“Those from the Reserves side know the feeling, but they also lack the physical part of it, and if you look at our opponents they have the stature in terms of their bodies and some of our players have small bodies, but it’s football where we need to teach them and we will not put much pressure on them and with time, they will get there. They have been playing football but they still lack the tactical aspect of it and also the technique level which we need to work on them in order to get the best out of them.
“We know it’s a big game and we have talked to the boys, but we will accept any result that comes as you know in football we expect three results, which is a win, a draw or a loss, so we expect anything from the three results.”
On going into the season without signing a central defending midfielder…
“I’ve been looking for one and wanted to kick off with everyone around, but it’s very unfortunate that we have some problems which are preventing me from having those boys from Ghana, but I hope very soon we will get them.”
On what to expect in the new season from the defending champions…
“Yes we are defending champions and we have revamped the team, which we thought was old and you know what it is when you start to rebuild. You can’t expect results now and then because it’s a process, but we will try our best and we hope may be with time we will get there.”
On injuries going into Week 1 of the League…
“As of now most of the boys are available, it’s only may be fitness to some of the boys who were injured the whole of last season. We had Precious Sambani who got injured for more than seven months, Righteous Banda who missed the entire season and John Lanjesi who also had a lengthy injury and we have got one or two guys who have been sick and I think they might be out of the derby.
“And Clever [Mkungula] limped off in training on Wednesday when he was trying to stretch himself and I think it’s an old injury that he was having and it came back to haunt him. The doctors talked to him and he indeed admitted that he once got injured when he was playing for the Reserves and he has been carrying that injury. We have been told by the doctors that he will have a scan to see the extent of the injury.”