MULWANDA LUPIYA, Ndola
ZESCO United coach Zlatko Krmpotic says his players have psychological issues ahead of tomorrow’s CAF Confederation Cup group stage match against Egyptian side Smouha.
And the Serbian trainer has attributed his send-offs to nervousness which culminates to sometimes losing his cool.
Zesco on Wednesday twice came from behind to hold Green Buffaloes to a 2-2 draw in a Super Division Week Six match at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
In an interview in Ndola on Wednesday, Krmpotic said playing Smouha three days after facing Buffaloes has put his players under pressure.
Krmpotic said he would have loved to play Smouha on Sunday.
He is, however, confident Zesco will roll over the Egyptians in a Group C match.
“This game against Buffaloes is before another big game on Saturday with Smouha, you know. You have psychological problem over time. Today [Wednesday], I changed the team and players have psychological problems and we didn’t start well. This is normal for me, but Zesco must play to win every game.
“I don’t want to speak too much. But this psychological problem, many big teams have it before games because everybody is thinking about Saturday. And this Buffaloes team is very good. That is my calculation after playing them [for the] first time,” Krmpotic said.
On being sent to the stands during the match against Buffaloes, Krmpotic said he loses his cool during matches.
Krmpotic was banished to the stands on Wednesday for arguing with fourth official Leah Namukonda.
“It’s two times, this girl [Leah Namukonda] has given me red cards, one against Power Dynamos [in the Samuel ‘Zoom’ Ndhlovu Charity Shield semi-finals] and now today [Wednesday]. Red card for what? I am fighting for my team and normally I am nervous,” Krmpotic said.
Buffaloes stand-in-coach Charles Bwale described the draw as painful.
“I think the game was a 50-50 affair, we were leading 2-0. It is just we conceded two soft goals. My team couldn’t defend because they were put under pressure and they lost concentration,” Bwale said.