HARARE City coach Mark Harrison (pictured) feels the mid-season break has come at a perfect time for his side, a period which he said he would use to re-energise and freshen up his squad.
BY HENRY MHARA
Following the weekend’s round of matches, the premier league will go on a two-week break, and only resume in the first week of July.
Harrison welcomed the break for his side who appeared to be losing steam in recent matches after a good start to the season where they looked like a dark horse in the title race.
Before their 3-0 win over Yadah FC at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday, inspired by Tatenda Tumba, they had picked just one point from a possible nine in their last three matches, with defeats to Ngezi Platinum and Highlanders, and a draw against ZPC Kariba.
“It’s good to have a break, players can refresh and relax a little bit. We are going to give our boys seven or eight days off to rest, just to freshen up the body, refresh the mind and when they come back, we get back to work again,” Harrison said.
The Briton said he was not worried though by the team’s recent run.
“In my mind and in the players’ mind, it hasn’t been difficult. We went to Ngezi, against a very good team looking for the championship, we got beaten and fair play. We played Highlanders off the park, they only had two chances given to them by two defensive errors.
“We should have won the game three or four nil, but I have no issues with it, it happens in football. And then against Kariba, I think it was a well-deserved point away, so it was never an issue with me or the players because they have been playing great football and I’m happy.”
With the transfer window opening on July 1, this break will also be an opportunity for Harrison to make some changes to the squad, and he is eyeing one player to add to his dressing room.
“I have got my eye on one player that I would like to bring, but it goes down to the (club) executive on whether they can bring him or not, but if I had my way, I would bring him in. We always look to strengthen, always look to improve the team and if we can get hold of the player I am sure he can make a huge difference,” he added.
He also spoke about Willian Manondo, one of the team’s stars from last season, who has found it difficult to break into the team of late. The midfielder failed to make the final 18 at the weekend, watching the match from the terraces.
“Willy has not been performing to his best, he knows that and I have had a good chat with him. He admits he has not been on his game, and we thought a couple of weeks out was what he needed to freshen up as well.
“Sometimes pressure gets to you, you try hard, too hard sometimes to try to make things happen, so it’s not a big deal, these things happen. He will get rest and come back again stronger. ”
City have shown a great improvement from their performance last season. At this point last year, they had just managed 18 points, compared to 28 this term. They went on to be relegated at the end of the season, before they were re-admitted back into the league after Hwange pulled out. Thus, escaping relegation is the top priority for Harrison, who has targeted 40 points this season, to be sure.