Pasuwa: You don’t expect too much in pre-season


Kalisto Pasuwa did not expect too much from his players as FCB Nyasa Big Bullets registered another goalless draw against Mighty Mukuru Wanderers in the ongoing 2023 Pre-Season International Bonanza at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday.

He was reacting after The People’s Team played out to another barren draw against Mozambican Ferroviário de Nampula on Friday before facing their cross-town rivals in the Blantyre derby Saturday afternoon.

Just like the first game, Pasuwa’s charges failed to find the back of the net and had one shot at goal through substitute Chinedu Okafor’s header that hit the crossbar late in the second half.

But speaking to reporters after Saturday’s match, the Bullets head coach maintained his stance on pre-season, saying he was only interested to check the fitness levels of his players, especially those that were with the national team, which has been in camp preparing for the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against Egypt this month.

“It’s pre-season. In pre-season, you don’t expect too much. We focus on fitness levels, how the players are faring and in most of them, they have been with the national team and it was very difficult for us to train with them. And if you can see most of these boys who played today, six of them were with the national team.

“There are some areas that we did well, very composed when we were building from the back, but we still need urgency in turnovers from defence to attack because our midfielders were not pressing especially in the attacking third, so we still need to do better in these areas,” explained Pasuwa.

He went on to comment on Bullets’ failure to play 180 minutes without registering a goal.

“Of course [we didn’t score in two games] but not a concern as such. As I said, it’s pre-season. You can’t learn everything especially when you have the majority of your players out with the national team and you are training with half of them, so we need to go back to the drawing board and work on the attacking third of it.”

Pasuwa heaped praise on Clyde Senaji, a Kenyan defender, who is undergoing trials at the club, describing him as a modern type of player following his excellent performance against the Nomads.

“He is a player who is very composed at the back and also we have been lacking a defender who can defend the ball behind, a lateral ball from the sides, and he has done extremely well because he was well composed from the buildup, confident with the ball and he could do anything with it by splitting the lines into the next lines of attack, so we hope for the best as we continue monitoring him.”

The latest draw means Bullets have two points, level with Nampula who play Wanderers in the final match on Sunday in the early kick-off. The People’s Team will face leaders UD Songo, who played out to a goalless draw against Nampula in their second game of the bonanza.

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