Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has vowed to keep fighting to retain the Absa Premiership following their 0-0 draw against Baroka at Peter Mokaba Stadium in midweek.
The result means the Brazilians are now 7 points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, but the Tshwane side has a game in hand.
This follows Amakhosi’s 2-0 win over struggling Chippa United in Port Elizabeth, their fifth win in a row.
“Yah I think it’s fair (the result), we didn’t create those easy chances to win. I can say 2 points dropped but if I look at the performance really, we did not deserve the two points to be honest,” admitted Mosimane.
When asked what he makes of the Chiefs result, this is what Mosimane had to say.
“But today it’s Sundowns and Baroka, why are you bringing Chiefs? Is it the only team that won? Good luck to them… we have to follow the process and the outcome will sort itself out and congratulations to them.
“We will forever be challenged every year – it’s part of the game, it’s a process so we got to be patient and we got to keep going. Marathon remember? Keep going.”
At this stage last season Sundowns had collected a point more than they currently have and it remains to be seen if catching up with the in-form Chiefs will remain a big task.
Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda has given an explanation on why the club decided to change the captaincy midway through the 2019/2020 season.
Bakgaga have now appointed Malawian international Gerald Phiri Jnr as the new head captain taking over from out of favour midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane.
There had been speculation that Mdantsane was being punished for not agreeing to renew his contract which comes to an end in June 2020.
“In football you make changes when you want to stipulate something into the team, and we needed to stipulate something into the young man (Phiri Jnr) and give him some responsibility so that he can give us more,” Nyirenda clarified.
“And moreover, he is playing more of the minutes in the game, so he needs to be on the pitch and for Mdantsane playing in the same position as him we thought he could start outside, but we will start and balance some equations.
“Mdantsane is a very cardinal player for us and he needs to be having some game time. He is a pro – very disciplined player.
“He has behaved well and has not taken it to heart, he said in his speech to the players when we changed the captaincy that time comes for everyone and my time has come for me to give the armband to someone else like the decision has been decided so everyone has to support that,” continued the Zambian.
“He is one of the first players on the pitch at training pitch just like the current captain Gerald. When you see him at training, he is training even more than he was the captain, so you see he is just a motivated player.”
Since their promotion to the Absa Premiership, Bakgaga have had four regular captains.
Olaleng Shaku was their first official captain before he was dismissed for drinking on the team bus and Letladi Madubanya took over before he was also released by the team earlier this season.
Phiri (26) had played just 10 matches for the Ga-Mphahlele side before he took over from Mdantsane who is rumoured to be on his way out of the team at the end of the season.
New Baroka striker Prince Nxumalo is likely to make his official debut for Baroka when they take on Mamelodi Sundowns in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday night.
Nxumalo has been given a lifeline by Bakgaga after being deemed surplus to requirements at Bidvest Wits, two months after joining them.
Baroka will be hoping the 29-year-old rediscover his goalscoring form that saw him net 13 Absa Premiership goals for Ajax Cape Town in the 2015/2016 PSL campaign.
“My ambition with this team is to help them get to the top 8, score more goals for them,” said Nxumalo.
“All I can say is that I have been settling well at the team, the players and coaches have been kind to me, so I am feeling at home now. I have been out for a long time, so I have not played any competitive match, so I don’t have any match fitness. But I am fit because I have been training.”
All the three Baroka main strikers (Jemondre Dickens, Richard Mbulu and Martin Nsimba) are yet to score a goal this season and under-fire coach Wedson Nyirenda will be banking on the former SuperSport United striker to convert the chances.
“He is very much ready, I think in terms of fitness he is looking good, mentally he is great. He is a very intelligent player and I think we needed such players in the past games that we have been having,” Nyirenda commented.
Nxumalo’s last competitive match was in April 2019 for Ajax Cape Town against Royal Eagles in the GladAfrica Championship.
His last goal was in March against TS Galaxy also in the second tier.
The list of candidates shortlisted for the hottest seat in Zambian football is growing.
News coming through from Zambia is that current Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda – a Legend in Zambia, is a wanted man by the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).
FARPost.co.za sources very close to the FAZ said, “I think he can (take the job). The fact that he’s one of the coaches that coached Zambia in the last 18 months means that there is a possibility that he might get the job.
“But then we can not forget the fact that he’s still contracted to Baroka. But he’s always going to be a candidate because if you look at the composition of the current Zambia national team, it has a lot of his DNA in it.”
“He is the one that started that construction really, if you look at Justin Shonga, he is the one that gave him his national team debut,” continued our source.
“If you look at Augustine Mulenga, and recently Cyril Chibwe switched to play for Zambia instead of Bafana Bafana and Wedson Nyirenda played a key part in convincing him to choose Zambia as the team to play for.
“I also think the fact that he’s the one that started the project puts him in a very good position, especially that also current national team coach Aggrey Chiyangi is standing in as interim coach, means he cannot be fully commited as we all know he’s also in charge of Green Eagles who are also playing in the CAF Confederations Cup.
“So Chiyangi’s attention might be divided. So Nyirenda will always be in the running, but then again we cannot ignore the fact that the Zambian government who are the funders of the FAZ are still owing Nyirenda from the last time that he was the national team coach. So if they are going to engage him that’s also another issue that has to be looked at. They will probably have to pay him what they owe to him, and then make fresh commitments for a new contract going forward.
“Also when you look at the previous 4 Zambian natives that have been coaches of this national team, Wedson Nyirenda’s record is better than any of them. His record is at 53%. George Lwandamina of Zesco United, his win record was at 30%… Honor Janza was at 41% and current coach Aggrey Chiyangi is at 40% so when you compare all of them, Wedson stands out.”
FARPost.co.zaput a call through to the Zambia FA and spoke to one of the FA Officials who replied:
“That story we don’t like it here. The Zambian sports minister has been very clear about the process for Zambia to hire a coach. The FAZ boss is out of office, but the job will be advertised and candidates shortlisted,” said communications manager of the Zambian FA, Mwazipeza Chanda.
Asked, for how long would the public have to wait for the announcement of the new head coach… And further pushed to answer on the rumours linking Baroka coach Wedson Nyirenda to the top position, Mwazipeza insisted that this would be communicated to the country in due course.
Baroka forward Jemondre Dickens wants to put behind the blunder that cost his team a place in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout and focus on the future.
Dickens made a terrible mistake when he played a back pass which was intercepted when Baroka were leading 1-0 in the dying minutes of the last 16 match against SuperSport United on Saturday.
It led to Matsatsantsa equalising through Bradley Grobler and the Tshwane side eventually winning on penalties.
The U23 international who was visibly heartbroken after the match says the whole team has been behind him ever since the incident.
“Yah they just told me to remain strong you know keep fighting and don’t listen to what people will say, so I took that advice and now I am here at training trying to correct my mistakes and to improve on them,” Dickens told FARPost.co.zaearlier on Tuesday.
“For a moment I was just thinking I could have done better but that day was not our day you know. Some games are not just for that day, sometimes you will give your all, but nothing comes out.
“Every dog has its day and that day was not ours. I was very sad you know I mean like as defending champions coming out in the first round but there is always more to come so now, we will have to focus on the league and try gain more points.”
Baroka are currently 12th on the Absa Premiership standings with 8 points from 8 matches. They will face AmaZulu next in a League match at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday at 15:30.