HARARE — Zimbabwe national soccer team coach, Clause Dieter Pagels, is not happy with the performance of his team despite the 2-1 win over Botswana in an international friendly this week.
Pagels, who was on the Warriors bench for the first time, said he has a lot of work to do. “For example, I need to educate the players to abandon their style of pumping long balls up-field and adopt a short passing game.”
The Warriors played their old-fashioned type of football against Botswana with the goalkeeper pumping the ball up-field for midfielders and strikers to finish off.
Pagels said he does not want such system of play, adding that he will do his best to introduce new and more exciting ways to play soccer.
His major concern is the team’s porous defense. Pagels added that he wants the players to believe in themselves, “as they are capable of offensive play and doing some things other superstars on the continent and elsewhere can do.”
The coach is, however, the first one to admit that it is not going to be easy to impart new skills to the Warriors squad.
Team manager, Shariff Mussa, admitted that a lot needs to be done to improve the players’ game.
Zimbabwe has only a month left before they play the Pharaohs of Egypt on March 23 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
On the brighter side, Pagels said he has been impressed with the Zimbabwean midfield and strike force saying if there are going to be changes they would be minimal.
Pagels has been given up to the end of the 2014 World Cup campaign to lead the Warriors but could have his term extended depending on the team’s performance.
He is the third German national to coach the Warriors after the late Reinhard Fabisch and Rudi Gutendorf.