Pasuwa wants character
23 December 2016
KALISTO Pasuwa has given the earliest hint on how he will come-up with the first XI when the Warriors finally face Algeria in their first 2017 AFCON group match in Gabon.
He is looking for character.
For that reason, the international friendly match against Cote d’lvoire in Abidjan on Monday offers him a chance to see which of the local players will stand the heat in Gabon.
The Warriors will face Algeria in their first group match on January 15 at Stade de Franceville.
Senegal will be next on January 19 at the same stadium before they complete the group matches against Tunisia on January 23 at Stade de l’Amitié.
“We will still test these guys’ character-wise and see how they fair when they are playing away against Cote d’lvoire. The foreign-based players are not available but it is an important game for us to see what these guys can offer. That is an important part of preparation,” Pasuwa said.
The Warriors coach has in many occasions pointed out that there are some players good at training but cannot apply themselves well in game situations.
From the 31 provisional squad, it is among the attacking players that Pasuwa faces a headache as to who he will start against the Desert Foxes of Algeria.
The likes of Khama Billiat, Knowledge Musona, Nyasha Mushekwi, Tendai Ndoro, Mathew Rusike, Evans Rusike, Kuda Mahachi, Cuthbert Malajila and Tino Kadewere all have a strong case.
Players flying to Abidjan for this first serious preparatory match believe their coach gives everyone a chance to show he can play ahead of the big names.
One player that could just make the final 23, at the back of a strong showing against Guinea in Conakry coming from the bench, is Harare City’s Ronald Chitiyo.
“It is an achievement as a player to be in this team with a lot of star players. What it means is that I have a chance and everyone has a chance. That is why we are 31.
What this means is that I should just work very hard to make the coach believe. I’m looking forward to the Cote d’lvoire game because it is preparation and I have to prove I can play at a high level again,” said Chitiyo.
Tino Kadewere is also aware of the competition that exists and he knows the demands of Pasuwa.
“I respect everyone who has been selected by the coaches. I just need to go and do my best and I know everyone in the team can actually do the job.
“I believe the coaches have selected a great squad and all that we need to do now is to focus and try to give the best that we can.
“We just need to go there and be ourselves. The team was doing well and we should just continue from that regardless of which players we will face,” said Kadewere.