FCB Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa has downplayed the absence of five loanees in Bangwe All Stars starting XI as an advantage to his team when the two teams face off in the TNM Super League on Friday afternoon at Mpira Stadium in Chiwembe.
The People’s Team loaned out Chikumbutso Salima, Rahaman John, Yamikani Mologeni, Chimwemwe Yassin and Emmanuel Saviel to the newly-promoted side, but the players will not face their parent club as part of the agreement.
However, Pasuwa believes the rookies will give his players a tough run regardless of who will feature against the defending champions.
“Yes, we loaned some of the players to them but this team went to Karonga United and they won without some of these players you are mentioning, this shows that they are a solid team and by now, they haven’t lost any game and they have a mixture of youngsters and experienced players, which is very good in terms of how they are building up their team. I am anticipating a very difficult encounter against them,” he told Bullets media on Wednesday.
The tactician was also quick to warn his charges against underrating any opposition, reiterating that “even a social team can make them run for their money”.
“Every team that is coming into the league wants to showcase themselves against Bullets and I have been saying that even if we can take a division 1 club or a social team to play against us, they will give everything, they will try to show themselves that they also need to play for this team.
“It’s a thing that we need to get used to, taking every game that we play very seriously. We shouldn’t underrate any opposition because you saw how difficult it was for us to get all three points against Extreme FC some weeks ago.”
Friday’s match was scheduled to be played on Saturday but the Super League of Malawi moved it earlier due to some engagements involving Bullets and commenting on the change, Pasuwa says there is nothing unusual about the fixture shift, stressing his Bullets are prepared to play as recommended.
“On our side, we are ready for anything. Fixtures can be changed and we can’t do anything about it, but as coaches, we need to quickly adjust to whatever we are doing for us to cope with what is on the ground,” said the mentor who is eyeing his fifth successive title.
May will see Bullets travelling to Lilongwe again before completing the busy month with home games, and the tactician revealed that player rotation will be the order of the day for Maule to withstand the heat that normally comes from fixture congestion.
“We have depth in our team where some of the guys are coming from injuries and in every position, we are having two guys competing and if anything comes, we are ready for it because we have a competition for places within”.
But he was quick to warn his charges not to think too much about being current log leaders with just four games played into the new season.
“Like I said, we are in a race where you are going 800 meters and you can be on top and the next minute someone comes and overtakes you and at the end of the day you might end up on position four or five when you had started on number one.
“It’s how you plan yourself, how experienced you are to take up the pressure of being on top for the remainder of the games. It also comes back to the coaches and everyone in the house to say the moment we see the team on top doesn’t mean we are playing well.
“Remember the previous seasons we were rising to the top after several weeks or months, which shows any team can go above us in the standings. So, we need to be ready for everything. The players are highly motivated to keep going and also considering most of these guys are new, it makes our job easier as coaches having seen what’s on the ground right now.”
This will be Bullets’ second game against a newly promoted side this season, having earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Extreme FC a fortnight ago.
The log leaders have ten points from four games, scoring nine goals and conceding two. Our Friday opposition, also unbeaten in the current campaign, is fourth with five points from the same number of games, scoring four and conceding three.