Despite a dispiriting 2-4 home defeat to Egypt which attracted a welter of criticism, Warriors coach Klaus Dieter Pagels continues to trumpet his “pass-pass philosophy” of play ahead of another daunting expedition in Conakry, Guinea.
Report by Kevin Mapasure
Fans are demanding an immediate rebound but Pagels insists they have to be patient as he polishes his diamond, a project that may require a further 10 matches.
But he believes he has prepared his Warriors — who failed to travel to Guinea yesterday due to official bungling — better for their Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier away to Guinea on Sunday, to whom the Warriors lost 1-0 in the first match.
Naysayers have been demanding results yet the German mentor insists results are not as important at this stage as the progress of the project.
There are only two competitive matches left this year where he can pool the local and foreign based players.
More friendly matches is the obvious route but funds are limited with the Zimbabwe Football Trust battling to raise funds for competitive matches this year.
Had it not been for financial constraints, Zimbabwe would have played Swaziland ahead of their showdown with Egypt, who played Botswana prior to the trip to Harare.
Barring any injuries, captain Denver Mukamba and Ovidy Karuru will start off from the bench while Tafadzwa Rusike who impressed in a central midfield role against Egypt retains his place in the starting 11.
“We will give the players a second chance. I think we had set a good team but some of the players were affected by stage fright,” said Pagels.
Pagels said he didn’t know much about Guinea but said their result against Mozambique suggests they are a good attacking team.
“I think they are a good attacking side from what I saw. I know this guy Ibrahima Traore who plays for Stuttgart. We still give ourselves a chance. I think we are on the right track. We just need to improve and pass with more speed.”
Meanwhile, cash-strapped Zifa will increase its revenue base after elbowing out advertising agencies which collected money from stadium perimeter advertising without ploughing back into the game.
The advertising agencies who amass advertising revenue from stadia at local and international matches were excluded from the proceedings during the Warriors-Egypt match where Zifa took over and realised US$28 000.
No local companies placed adverts in the National Sports Stadium, the match venue, with Gillette, Coca-Cola and Vodafone, all companies which sponsor the Egyptian national team, taking up space.
Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze this week told Independentsport that they were getting rid of companies which benefitted from football, but never ploughed back into the game.
“In the past we were not getting anything out of stadium advertising, but after the Egypt/warriors match we now know the way forward,” said Mashingaidze. “We will not allow unscrupulous companies to come and just collect money from football without helping the game in any way.
Zimbabwe host Mozambique in the final home qualifier in September.