Bosso duo battle  to cast away  ‘bad boy’ tag Kelvin Kaindu

Veronica Gwaze-Sports Reporter

Premier Soccer League pacesetters Highlanders’ imposing defender Peter Muduhwa feels that the ‘bad-boy’ tags that he and teammate Andrew Mbeba have inherited over the years could bruise their image and diminish their chances of making it far with football.

They hogged the limelight last season for their ‘excessiveness aggressiveness’, which bordered on bullying both opponents and match officials on the pitch. Recently they also trended following some scuffles during their league match against Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields.

Head coach Kelvin Kaindu revealed that they are working on the boys’ rehabilitation.

As part of their rehabilitation process, they have been having a series of therapy lectures during and after training.

“Since the last incident, we have been talking to them and I feel like it is working because I can see some differences now,” said Kaindu.

“Look at our match against Ngezi Platinum Stars recently, there was a bit of some misunderstandings with the match officials, their teammates became agitated and confronted the referees.

“However, these two (Mbeba and Muduhwa) did not participate. I was looking closely to see if the sessions we are constantly having are working and I was pleased with how they reacted to that situation.”

Last season Muduhwa served a four-match suspension after being found guilty of inciting violence in their abandoned game against Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium.

And Muduhwa feels that media and football enthusiasts are judging them harshly.

“Emotions are high on the pitch and anything can happen in that moment, even in English football there is nothing new in that but I have learnt when it is Peter Muduhwa or Andrew Mbeba people talk,” he said.

“Even if we do good, they will ignore that and focus on the negative. We are fighting for Highlanders and we have been learning to control tempers and situations of late to protect our images and the brand that is Highlanders.”

The Bulawayo giants are currently cruising on a six-game unbeaten run and go into the weekend with 14 points out of a potential 18.

Tomorrow they face fourth placed Chicken Inn at Barbourfields in what has in the past turned out to be an explosive Bulawayo derby.

While history favours the Gamecocks who seem to have mastered the art of beating Highlanders in their backyard, Muduhwa feels this time will be different.

Being one of the senior players on the team, he said part of his responsibilities is to motivate the young players and make them understand the importance of good behaviour and winning games.

“We need to make them aware that when the season is running like this, there is no such thing as a big or small team, we want to guard against losing concentration because this is what cost us last season,” he said.

“Personally, I told myself that I will not fight to make it to the soccer stars’ finalists. I am eyeing the championship and this is what I have also been telling the young guys.

“We have been heartbroken in the dying minutes of the marathon on many occasions in the past so this year we want a different feel; we want to go through the emotions of being crowned. So on games like this when we face strong Chicken Inn, we need to be in our best form.

“As for what happened last season, we blame ourselves as players and we are guarding against that this season…we should collect maximum points against Chicken Inn.”

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