Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa has reiterated the need for his players to fight for a place in the starting eleven.
Pasuwa and his assistant, Peter Mponda, were back to face the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of The People’s Team’s TNM Super League encounter against Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.
The coach was quizzed on a range of topics, his assessment of Red Lions, his squad’s preparations ahead of the fourth league encounter this season and whether it is too early to start talking about defending the title or not and on having his first XI.
Read the transcript of the coach’s media briefing and be up to date ahead of the upcoming match.
On how the team has been preparing:
“We started our preparations on Wednesday with the same squad that we took to Karonga for our two matches [against Karonga United and Chitipa United]. We have been trying to work on areas that need polishing up. We scored our first two goals in the new season and we thought also we should have to do more in terms of how we defend and the creative zone where we want more creativity in going forward. The boys are coming up in terms of fitness and we hope when we meet Red Lions on Sunday, we will be geared up.”
On Sunday’s opposition:
“We know Red Lions play a physical game and that’s another team we cannot underrate. They are currently doing well and we also need to be at our best in order for us to collect [full] points. Gone are the days of saying we are Bullets and we can win games without even fighting, we need to fight in order for us to take up points. We will have our final session on Saturday morning to see how best we can go before our game on Sunday.
“Like I said, they play a very physical game and remember during our pre-season, we played two friendly matches against military teams [Kamuzu Barracks and MAFCO] in which we won and we have been polishing up in terms of power play in our boys because some of them were not challenging these military teams, however having gone through the pre-season training, I am sure they can stand tall to tall with them.
On rotating his squad, having a first eleven:
“As of now, we cannot have [a] first eleven. I told you last time that we did some tests on the players in terms of fitness. One can be saying may be this one is supposed to dawn the first team jersey when his fitness [level] is down. We always tell the players to improve their fitness levels for them to play. There is no short way to playing football, you need to be fit for you to play, so we [are] still coming up with our best squad that can play games for the [rest of the] season.”
On defending the title:
“It’s too early to start talking about defending the title. All these teams were idle for nine months and after playing three games you cannot judge that this one can be a good player. I can tell you right now that the soccer star of the year is still home, you haven’t even seen him, and maybe he will come and perform. What we are saying is it’s too early for us to commend that this is the team that will represent us this season, we are still working on it and we will come out good.
Bullets vs Red Lions match will kick-off at 14:30 and tickets are currently selling at Nyasa Big Bullets Club House, Kamuzu Stadium and Ndirande Energem.
Advance Ticket Prices: Open Stands K1500. MBC Stand K2500. Covered Stands K4500. VIP Stand K7000.
Match Day Ticket Prices: Open Stands K2000. MBC Stand K3000. Covered Stands K5000. VIP Stand K7500.