Sunday, November 29, 2020

Black Forest boss hoping to avoid relegation

Black Forest Head Coach Gilbert Mushangazhike says his team is not playing for honours but rather to keep its status in the elite Botswana Premier League (BPL). However, with two seasons into their BPL stay, Mushangazhike opines that ‘Magoleng,’ as the Mmankgodi based outfit is popularly known, is still “far from being on par with many of their competitors in the league.” Despite sitting on the ninth position in the current season’s BTC Premiership League log, the Forest Head Coach admits that the remaining games will  be a fight for their lives.

“We are just playing to avoid relegation because we are in a position where we share similar points with many teams, with only a difference of 1 to 4 points so it is easy to relegate and that is our aim to avoid it,” Mushangazhike says. According to the Magoleng gaffer, his charges do not yet have what it takes to compete with the big boys in the BPL as they are inexperienced.

“Some of the players are coming from division two and they are far from professional standards expected for one to be in the premier league,” Mushangazhike said. As things stand, Mushangazhike says, there is still a lot that needs to be done to develop the players to reach the necessary standards to compete as equals in the BPL.

Forest is currently standing on 26 points in the league log, just six points away from the relegation playoff drop zone. Magoleng is however three points behind the trio of Sharps Shooting Stars, Extension Gunners and Gaborone United in the race for the Top 8. Below them is Police XI at 25 points, Sankoyo Bush Bucks at 24 points and Tafic also with 24 points.

The Forest Head Coach says in order for them to avoid relegation, they will have to do all they can possibly do to improve as a team and collect the required points. Mushangazhike says if his boys can qualify for the Mascom Top 8, they might be motivated to improve more on their skills.

The Zimbabwean gaffer admitted that coaching in Botswana is quite different from what he is used to, which means he has to adjust to what the boys are used to for now just to be able to complete the 2017/2018 season before he can imprint his philosophy on the team.

However, Mushangazhike has vowed that he will do his utmost best to work with the team until they adjust to the competitive BPL.

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.