Kalisto Pasuwa provided his reaction to FCB Nyasa Big Bullets’ goalless draw against Ferroviário de Nampula at Kamuzu Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Bullets and the Mozambican side shared the points in the first game on matchday 1 of the 2023 Pre-Season International Bonanza.
The Zimbabwean rested most of his last season’s regular players and featured members he rarely used in the 2022 campaign. He also featured his latest signing Maxwell Phodo, White Kitseni who returned following a one-year loan spell at Sable Farming, as well as foreign players undergoing trials at The People’s Team.
Speaking to journalists during the post-match press conference, Pasuwa, who defended the TNM Super League and won the FDH Bank Cup last season, said he focused much on fitness rather than a result.
“A good game where we were looking at the fitness of the players and not necessarily looking at the result. We wanted to see the components of the fitness of players. I think they did well. Three-quarters of the players went over 80 minutes, something which is okay,” he stated.
Making his assessment of the match, the tactician admitted that his players struggled to keep the ball longer than their opponents, which he said he will have to improve heading into the new season.
“It’s only in transitions and circulation of the ball that we struggled with because we are still slow, but we will go back to the dressing room as you know most of these players were with the national team, they didn’t train with us, so we couldn’t work together.
“But again, it was a fair result because we saw what we wanted from transition to attack and attack to defence, but we still need to work on our attacking prowess in order to score goals and have results coming.”
Providing an assessment of the new faces in his squad, the Bullets’ head coach said:
“They did quite well. Some of them like Clyde Senaji and Collins Okumu were good and we can’t complain, but we will still assess them as we continue our preparations,” he further explained.
Bullets will now switch their attention to the first Blantyre derby of 2023 when they face Mighty Mukuru Wanderers in the second match on Saturday, with Pasuwa saying he is not looking at the derby but rather an opportunity for his charges to play and gain playing experience readying for the new season.
“We are not looking at the match as Wanderers. We are looking at the match as part of the pre-season because we need the boys to be fit and get ready for the season coming ahead.”