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Kalisto Pasuwa ahead of Moyale Barracks

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Kalisto Pasuwa discussed a range of topics in his pre-match conference ahead of our away TNM Super League fixture against Moyale Barracks at Mzuzu Stadium on Monday.

The head coach spoke about injuries, how a change of fixtures affects his plans, Monday’s opponents and the importance of maintaining focus ahead of the clash.

On the upcoming match against Moyale Barracks

Every game, we try as much as we can to have a positive mindset so that we collect points by the end of the day. These games are all about the fighting spirit we put in the field of play. I always advise my players not to look for names, and the opponent at hand. They shouldn’t look at how they have previously performed before facing us. The moment they play us, they will raise their tempo. So, it’s us as Bullets who need to prepare very well for us to play well. We need to correct ourselves here at the training sessions that we do because if we are failing to defend well, attack well, and score goals, then we need to rectify the problems so that when we step into the field of play, we do what needs to be done to win the matches.

On how the sudden change of fixtures is affecting preparations after our next match was moved from Sunday

As a coach, we are having problems with fixtures. I think the way we are being given these fixtures is sometimes disturbing because we are told that we will play on Friday and from nowhere, it will be changed a day before the match. Last time when we were in Karonga, we played a game, thinking that we were there to play two games, but at night, after the first game, we were told to return to Blantyre. That’s another factor that is affecting us mostly in terms of injuries because of the way we have been travelling and at the end of the day, remember we have plenty of injuries in our camp, and had it been we had a full squad, it would have been okay for us. But this scenario of changing fixtures anyhow is making our job very difficult to plan because as a coach, I plan and next thing, I am forced to change all the plans. But that’s what football is all about. That’s how the fixtures are coming and we just need to adapt very quickly to what is coming.

On the latest injuries to the team

We have two fresh injuries to our squad. Colin Mujuru has tight muscles. And then we also have Chrispin Mapemba who came in very well, suited very well into our system [following his promotion from the reserves] but he won’t be available for us [as we travel to the North]. This will affect us maybe in terms of combinations, but we can’t do anything about it. We go and use the players who are fit for the game.

On whether the injuries are a result of training methods

Very interesting assumption. When you talk about injuries, I don’t know what you are looking at and if I can go back to how we suffered these injuries, you will find out that only one player suffered an injury in training, but the rest of these players were injured during matches. We are living in the information age where we are recording every injury that we are having. First thing this season, 15 players were having flu and flu is not an injury. The flu is an illness that comes naturally and we can’t force players when doctors have recommended that they be out of the team. Before this, in the previous seasons, we had COVID-19 cases and we were forced to do without the affected players, is COVID-19 part of an injury? And on the latest injuries, we have never experienced an injury in training during any of our sessions. If you can go and check the players who are in POPs, they were knocked out when we were playing games, and if I can tell you today to say those players who were injured during games, no player from the opposition team was cautioned for causing these injuries to our players to an extent of having these players having POPs and nothing is being done on it. I can even show you the evidence because I have it.

On the negative impact of these injuries

It has been like this, but it’s also the trust that we have in players. We say Heston Munthali is playing and Mike is playing and you trust the player to come in and replace Heston who is injured, we encourage him and that’s what we have been doing all along because every player is important and he is supposed to play a role in circumstances like these. And then we have a problem where people will end up questioning the reason why we made some changes to the lineup but they are not going too deep to ask what is happening. They only focus on the line-up but they don’t know the reasons why some of these changes are being made. We have so many factors that are affecting us to come up with a lineup for a particular match and as a team, we have tried as much as we can to manage our sessions. I think the last person whom I can say got injured during a training session is Yankho Singo who had a fracture but the rest of the players get injured during games.

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