Sunday, May 28, 2023

Butler and his charges relish competing against the best

Following the Zebras disposal of Mali this past weekend, Zebras head Coach Peter Butler says he is relishing the chance to compete against the best in Africa. In his post match interview, Butler revealed that together with his players, they benefit a lot from competing with the continent’s best. “It is great for me as a coach to pit my wits against someone like Alain Giresse and some of these big West African countries. It is great for me, it is great for the players, the team and everybody because it shows we can compete and that we go by our job in a great way,” the Zebras gaffer opined. 

After enduring early criticism as results failed to come following his decision to drop some senior players for inexperienced youthful players as he sought to rebuild, Butler now seems to have found a winning formula. As a result, the Zebras have now claimed scalps of two of the continent’s best, Burkina Faso earlier in September this year, and just this past week Mali. While the Zebras have in the past played very defensive, under the Briton, the team is now playing a positive and beautiful brand of football, something which the gaffer vows will continue. The coach seems to have finally got to grasps with the strengths of his players as he vowed not to stifle their style. 

“I have spent the last eighteen months trying to encourage these lads to play a certain brand of football and I am not going to change. There is nothing worse than going out and being negative to try grinding the results and getting picked off. I will rather lose the game 4 ÔÇô 3 than trying grinding results and being negative. We are not like that,” Butler explained. 

The coach’s optimism and confidence in his players seems to have now been transferred to his players. His sentiments were echoed by midfielder Tapiwa Gadibolae, who explained that he relishes playing against the best players. Brought in to replace Galagbwe Moyana, the 22 year old fitted well in Butler’s preferred 3 5 2 formation as a right wing back and his hard work was rewarded as he scored his first international goal against Mali. “When I play with the best players, I get motivated and I don’t get scared,” the youngster explained.  He explained that even filling the shoes of Moyana was never a daunting task as he was determined. 


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