WINLESS Highlanders coach Mandla Mpofu is targeting at least three players who can change the club’s fortunes upfront when the transfer window opens next month.
The Bulawayo giants have gone for three Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches without a win, registering two away defeats and a home draw, leaving the club’s followers unhappy with the team’s performance.
After falling 1-0 to Manica Diamonds at Sakubva Stadium on Sunday, Mpofu believes his side is playing well, but are failing to convert chances and he was on the hunt for a seasoned striker.
“I am worried about finding the solution to our scoring problem. We cannot afford to have four good and clear opportunities and still fail to convert. I am still confident, especially if we consider the performance by the boys apart from the results. I will see what unfolds in the January transfer window. Maybe, I can get someone who can solve our situation upfront. We need a seasoned striker and that is the only problem we have right now,” Mpofu said.
One of the players said to be targeted by Highlanders is FC Platinum’s Stanley Ngala, who is believed to have a running contract with the champions, but the Bulawayo giants are banking on a striker not playing regularly for the Zvishavane-based side.
Highlanders lost the first match 2-0 to Black Rhinos early last month and settled for a goalless draw against Ngezi Platinum Stars before losing 1-0 to Manica Diamonds on Sunday.
Washington Navaya and Lynoth Chikuhwa have not come to the party after joining Highlanders while Bukhosi Sibanda, Ray Lunga, Godfrey Makaruse, Joel Ngodzo and Devine Mhindirira have also been culpable in attack.
Despite the loss to Manica Diamonds, Mpofu felt they were also let down by bad officiating.
“I usually don’t want to complain about referees. It is unprofessional, but they could have done better to award us two clear penalties but these things happen in football,” Mpofu said.
The Highlanders gaffer is under pressure, saying he was aware of the heat outside.
“I am worried, but the football that these boys are playing gives me hope. If we can just get three seasoned players to solve our goal-scoring problem then we are good to go. The league is still young; we have a long way to go. I know the feeling outside there when one is part of the Highlanders family. It’s only a matter of time,” Mpofu said.
Highlanders also failed to defend the Chibuku Super Cup, losing to FC Platinum 1-0 in the quarter-final after a mediocre group stages showing.