Kalisto Pasuwa will not have two of his defenders available for the next TNM Super League fixture as FCB Nyasa Big Bullets host Red Lions at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.
The head coach provided early team news during his interview with club media as he continues preparing his squad for the tie, our third league match of the season at home.
Pasuwa revealed centre-back Nickson Nyasulu, who missed the trip away to Civil Service United last Sunday, continues to nurse a knee injury for two to three weeks.
Fresh on the injury list is wingback Alick Lungu who will be on the sidelines until next week after picking up a muscle strain during the 1-1 tie at Civo Stadium.
There is however positive squad update from the gaffer as he revealed Hassan Kajoke, Clyde Senaji, Yamikani Fodya and Eric Kaonga are back and training with the rest of the squad gearing up for the Red Lions fixture.
While he was happy with the recovery of the quartet, Pasuwa expressed worry at how his men are picking up the injuries during matches.
“These boys coming back again is good for us, but again, it is the injuries that are affecting us much. As you can see on Hassan, it was an injury [he picked after a bad challenge against Moyale Barracks], and on the other part, maybe the officiating referees are not seeing it, but I’m losing players in every game.
“He [Kajoke] went out of the game straight away and missed two to three games. Again, we are having a scenario where we are having players like Senaji who were injured and weren’t playing. We also have Alick Lungu who has the same problem and if you can look at some of these fouls nothing is being done about it, but that is football. As coaches, we need to concentrate on our part and our part maybe to win these games.”
The tactician also spoke about Sunday’s opposition and how The People’s Team needs to be positive going into the next challenge.
“Red Lions is a side one can say is struggling in the league, but a good example is the last game we played [against Civil Service United, which has also been struggling]. It was a case of complacency where every time in duels, we were second to the ball and even when tracking the opponents. A good example is the goal that they scored; it was a simple tracking case as the guys left that boy [Patrick Phiri] going without even communicating [and he released Binwell Katinji to score].
“As Bullets, we need to have the extra mile in whatever we do. The reaction from the boys must be positive. Not only the boys but everyone in the house. It is the mindset that will make one say this team has been playing well and will get the three points. In every game we play as Bullets, we need to fight to win these games.”
Pasuwa also discussed Bullets’ squad rotation this season.
“On player rotation, maybe you can look at the team we are using this year. At the start of the season, we have been using nine players. It is a case people are not seeing it, there are nine players who [have] played all the league games.
“It is only two or three players that have been changing. If we are playing other cups that are out of the calendar, of course, we can be putting the other players to see how they fare, and also, the travelling part of it will make one change his team.
“Player rotation is very good considering the surfaces we are playing on in Malawi and the timeframe we play games. It is the nature of how football is done here, and you need every player to be ready.
“You cannot talk of a player to say this is a regular when you play on a good surface like Kamuzu Stadium then tomorrow you go and play on a bumpy pitch away from home. And these are youngsters who are growing up, and most of them maybe grew up here in Blantyre playing at Kamuzu Stadium, and if they travel away now, it will be very difficult to adjust.
“But if you talk of the senior side that we had last time those ones could suit anywhere, they could play a second ball, and they could play whatever kind of football you want them to play but with these little boys who are coming in, it is a new part of the phase of players that we are introducing. So, we need to teach them every day, and teaching is not a one-day thing. It can take you one or two years for them to adjust. Remember, these are youngsters.”