HIGHLANDERS coach Madinda Ndlovu (pictured left) is set to go shopping during the upcoming mid-season transfer window after expressing dissatisfaction with his goalkeeping department led by the blundering Ariel Sibanda as well as the strike force where Newman Sianchali has been firing blanks as the season reaches the halfway stage.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
However, Ndlovu insists he is happy with the way his project to bring back the Highlanders football culture is progressing so far.
The Highlanders technical team will be submitting a comprehensive report to the club’s executive committee on their wishes after today’s away Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium.
Their main focus is on beefing up strikers and the goalkeeping department.
“With the way we are going with our project, bringing in new players is a possibility, but that will be only be done after deliberations with all stakeholders. Our strike force is behind in terms of the project, so we need to try and look in that area so that while we build, we build something that has direction. With the way we play, we create so many chances but we miss them,” Ndlovu said.
The gaffer’s utterances say much about veteran Sianchali, brought in at the beginning of the season to bolster the attacking options with experience.
But the former Bantu Rovers and Bulawayo City forward has not lived up to his billing to date.
The other strikers in Ndlovu’s squad include Ozias Zibande, who started off well but faltered along the way, while Godfrey Makaruse and Gabriel Nyoni have had their flashes with Ray Lunga usually coming in from the bench.
Highlanders have scored 17 goals going into their 17th match against FC Platinum, an average of just about a goal per game.
Zibande has scored four goals so far with Makaruse banging in three, while Sianchali and Nyoni have two apiece.
Midfielder Brian Banda has been on target three times with the other goals coming from defender Peter Muduhwa and midfielders Nigel Makumbe and Adrian Silla.
“So probably we need to look into that area and assess if we have average players in that area or we have players who are not yet mature enough to understand their role or maybe we just have blunt strikers.
“We are only waiting for this game that we are going to play now (against FC Platinum) to submit our mid-season report to the CEO for the executive committee to go through it. But I can openly say that we are inclined to look at the areas that we have not done well,” Ndlovu said.
Veteran goalkeeper Sibanda has conceded nine goals in 16 matches and has to strap up his gloves after a number of poor performances.
Sibanda was sentoff last week in the 1-0 defeat to Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields Stadium, a goal that was conceded by his reserve Prosper Matutu, bringing to 10 the number of goals Highlanders have conceded in 16 games.
“Goalkeeping is also one of the areas that we have got to look at. Although we might say we have one goalkeeper who has been in charge, we feel he needs a bit of some challenge and competition,” Ndlovu said.