Kalisto Pasuwa has reacted to FCB Nyasa Big Bullets’ 1-1 draw away to Civil Service United in the TNM Super League at Civo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Bullets came from behind to salvage a point through Patrick Mwaungulu’s 46th-minute stunner after Binwell Katinji had put the hosts in the lead at the stroke of the quarter-hour mark.
Speaking to reporters after the final whistle, the head coach took questions on why Bullets seem not to have a stable first eleven, the substitutions he made, the team’s performance in Matchweek 6 as well as his thoughts on the penalty appeals turned down by the referee Alfred Chilinda.
“At Bullets, we don’t have a first eleven. I prepare thirty players that are registered to play, and each and everyone is expected to play his role as a Bullets player,” he responded, saying all his available players are expected to play a role in a season his team will take part in five different competitions
“The only thing I can be worried about is fatigue where we can say one didn’t play according to his abilities,” added Pasuwa.
“There are also reasons why one can make changes to his squad when you have other players coming from injuries and some have fitness levels down. And this is something we cannot tell you, but as a coach, I am supposed to do what is necessary for my team.”
On Bullets’ performance away in the capital on Sunday afternoon, the gaffer admitted the defending champions struggled, especially in the first half, which forced him to make changes in the opening period to contain the opposition.
Pasuwa withdrew Righteous Banda and Lanjesi Nkhoma in the 33rd minute for Mike Mkwate and Ephraim Kondowe, who was also pulled out for Chinedu Okafor in the 70th minute.
“We started slowly and the opposition was playing very well, very composed and they attacked us. We had to come up with a plan B where we made [the] substitutions, and that’s how we started dominating and going to them.
“We got the equalizer in the second half from Patrick Mwaungulu’s brilliance, and we had so many chances, but we couldn’t bury them. That’s part of the game,” commented the coach who has four successive TNM Super League titles with Bullets and is hunting for a fifth championship.
The People’s Team had three penalty appeals in the final 15 minutes of the match that referee Alfred Chilinda turned down and Pasuwa shared his thoughts on the decisions by the match official.
He said: “There are some incidences where I thought we should have been awarded penalties, but I don’t know why the referee didn’t do the right thing. I am not a referee, I am a coach, but we need to know why, and we need to be fair. In football, fairness should be the order of the day.”
Pasuwa was also quick to reiterate that “this is a marathon” and it is too early to start talking about the championship.
“I am one person who talks on the last day of the games. We should expect results like this. Should we kill ourselves because we have drawn? We need to look ahead, do homework and come back stronger. Remember this is a race where we need to finish on number one when we are splitting, and the number one will only be known on the last day of this marathon.”