As the Flames face Seychelles this evening at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban South Africa in the 2023 Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup Group B tie, interim Coach Patrick Mabedi has emphasised on the need to utilise scoring opportunities.
Coming from a 1-0 victory over defending champions Zambia’s Chipolopolo via an own-goal, the tactician said the Flames are geared for the Islanders.
“So far the players are geared and we are looking forward to the game,” Mabedi said after the team’s last training session which concentrated on the attacking tactics.
The former Kaizer Chiefs coach said he deliberately concentrated on the attacking aspect of the game to instill confidence in the players.
“I am focusing on attacking because organisation at the back and the midfield is okay, but we need to do more in the last third.
“We create so many chances, so it’s better to give confidence in the players; to tell them that when you get into the box, you need to be composed.
“They need to get used to that. Actually, they need to be addicted to scoring. They need to practise this more as you know that we have been struggling to score.”
Mabedi said he was confident that the goal drought was about to come to an end.
“I believe one day we will be able to score more goals. It may be the game we are playing tomorrow, you never know,” he said.
The Flames are unbeaten against Seychelles’ Pirates.
In the last meeting, the Flames easily saw off Seychelles 3-0 in 2019 Cosafa Cup.
But Mabedi said they need to be careful not to underrate their opponent who are good at set pieces and have a height advantage.
“They play a mixed formation. Their strength most of the time is that they are good and set pieces and may hurt you in set plays. So, in open play, if you sleep a little bit, they may hurt you. You just need to be organised.
“We need to be patient not to give the ball away. We need to manage them and try not to give away unnecessary fouls and set pieces because they have height and that is how they can hurt us.
The tactician however, observed that the opponent has some weaknesses which Malawi can exploit.
“At the same time, we are looking at them as a team that is also vulnerable because they pack the bus and we need to be patient a little bit and catch them when we need to do that.
“Overall they are a team that can also play and surprise you. So, we need to do what we have to do; we don’t need to play in our half and we need to take the game to them.”
Malawi is second to Comoros in Group B and will play after the leaders’ match against Zambia.
But Mabedi said this does not give his side an advantage or a disadvantage.
“We just intend to do our business. What we are doing here is to focus on our game. There is nothing like an advantage or disadvantage. We will just go out there and do our thing.”
The coach also gave an update on injured players Mighty Mukuru Wanderers forward Christopher Kumwembe and Bangwe All Stars midfielder Chikumbutso Salima.
He said: “We had Christopher back from an injury he had in the match against Zambia. Now we only have Chikumbutso Salima who got injured during training. But he is getting better.”