15 June 2012

Zimbabwe/Burundi: We Just Have to Win Against Burundi Warriors Assistant Coach Peter Ndlovu

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
Zimbabwean international midfielder Esrom Nyandoro

interview

Zimbabwe faces Burundi in the return leg of the second round of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Harare trailing 2-1 from the first leg. Zimbabwe Warriors are under pressure to win and stay in the qualifiers. Cafonline.com spoke to assistant coach Peter Ndlovu ahead of the match and the former Warroirs captain was confident that the Warriors would turn the tables and get the win they are desperate for.

It has been roughly 4 months since you lost away in Burundi in the first leg, what have you been doing to prepare for this game?

Well as a technical team we have had time to reflect on the first leg and see our shortcomings and where we needed to improve. The players on the other hand have been playing for their teams in various leagues and so have constantly been in training since that game in February.

What changes have you made technically and strategically to try and win the match on Sunday?

Therearen't very many changes to our initial strategy. We have played two FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the last two weekends and we have had time to try different combinations and strategies. The team we fielded in Burundi played well and we have confidence that they will do well this weekend. Of course we have brought in some new players to strengthen certain positions but no major changes have been made.

Is there a particular approach to this qualifier different from that before two 2014 World Cup qualifiers you played in the last two weeks where you had a home loss and an away draw?

The secret is not to lose focus on the goal. Every game is different, you can either win, draw or lose that is its nature. For us we need to win this match against all odds, at all costs. I have personally taken charge of the strike force and am putting them through some drills and training to help them with accuracy and movement to get into scoring positions. We need to keep the confidence of our players high and minimise unnecessary distractions.

How are you doing in as far as niggles and injuries in camp?

At the moment our main concern is for Ovidy Karuru who is injured and has not been cleared as yet to play this game. There a few others are who need to go through some late fitness tests otherwise we have a full team which we seek to field this weekend.

Having played Burundi before are there any key areas or players you will be paying special attention to?

The Burundi players are very tough and physical. We are physically smaller but have speed to our advantage. We will be looking to keep the ball and make correct and accurate passes to penetrate the defence. Like I said though every game is different, so we cannot base much on the last performance by either team, but look to a better game on Sunday.

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