Head Coach Kalisto Pasuwa spoke to club media ahead of FCB Nyasa Big Bullets’ TNM Super League tie against Mafco at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday.
It will be Bullets’ first game at home in the new season after we started the campaign away in our 1-1 draw to Silver Strikers last weekend.
says his side will need to do extra work when they host Mafco FC in the second week of the 2023 TNM Super League at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Pasuwa admitted that his charges have had some mixed results against the military side hence the need to do more in Matchweek 2 of the campaign, saying “putting on the Bullets jersey will not be enough to win us games”.
He also provided an update on injuries as he discussed our preparations, special performances from Alick Lungu and Blessings Mpokera, as well as the persisting problem of conceding goals through set pieces.
Below is Pasuwa’s full interview with Bullets Media…
On facing a side that ended our unbeaten run last season
Very tough opposition for us after they ended our unbeaten run last season, but again, football being football, it’s the right sense of mood where you don’t underrate your opponent, but with everything in place, not looking at names, but as a club where they have eleven players that are fielded in the field of play and adhere by the laws of the game.
We need to be positive in whatever we do in order for us to collect all the points [on Sunday] because the last time we faced them, we lost. It was a game where they had everything and wanted the points and they got them. We mustn’t go there with the tag of saying we are Bullets without playing. We should always brag about Bullets after playing and winning.
On preparations for Sunday’s tie
So far, so good in camp. Of course, we will still play them without Gomezgani Chirwa, Precious Sambani and Hassan Kajoke who have recovered but are still on pre-season, having missed most of our training sessions [but the] rest of the guys are ready to do the job for us on Sunday.
On how exceptional Alick Lungu and Blessings Mpokera have been in the absence of Gomezgani Chirwa and Precious Sambani
Remember, these are youngsters who are coming in. I have been talking about squad depth, where I need competition from the players in every position we play. We take one, we field him in, and we get the best out of him without thinking about someone who is either injured or suspended. We play on hard surfaces where we also need to be sharing energy levels, so I think it’s healthy in our camp when you see these two boys playing the way they have been playing in the absence of Gomezgani and Precious.
On dealing with set piece situations where Bullets have been conceding
Like I said, we need to be in the right sense of mood whenever playing games for us to play well. In defending, you need to attack spaces and you also need stature, hence you saw us trying to revise our squad so that we can have heights to deal with set piece situations and in most cases if you look at our average heights, it’s not good when playing international games and this is the main reason why we struggle when long balls come into the box. But again, it’s a matter of attacking the ball, it’s a matter of seeing your man and where the ball is coming from then also being organized, talking inside the box, organization of the goalkeepers where we need them to communicate as much as they can so that we avoid conceding from these dead ball situations.
On the need to have every player play their role in the hectic season as Bullets will compete in five different competitions
That’s why every time you see us training we prepare everyone and we make sure that when I am giving the players a game, they are ready for it. We don’t want a situation where we could go 28 matches without others not playing and then we play some in match 29, we need to be rotating them, we need them to have game time and also to expect what is needed for Bullets to win games.
On the importance of winning the first match at home
It is very important to win our first game at home, but I am one person who will talk about the championship on the last day of the competition. I don’t look at the first two to three games that are coming. We prepare for every team that is coming in front of us. Hence, you see the intensity we use when training here. We need to be ready for everything coming our way.