FURTHER hopes, if any, of Nkana defending their league title and finishing in the top four were reduced on Thursday after being outsmarted by Forest Rangers, who ran 2-1 winners at Nkana Stadium. The loss was their 10th of the season, twice as many as they recorded in their title-winning campaign, which was cut at Week 27. Absurd as it sounds, Nkana are staring at relegation right now as they sit third from bottom with 21 points, three behind the first safe place occupied by NAPSA Stars. Nkana’s last win in the league came in February when they beat Nkwazi 2–0 in Lusaka. Who remembers that one? Well, there have also been a 2–1 win over TAS Casablanca and 1–0 victory against Namungo in the Confederation Cup.
But take out those victories and Nkana will be left with seven losses and one draw in all competitions. What is the problem?
As has been documented before, their struggles can be attributed to a cocktail of issues, chief among them the quality of the squad at the disposal of coach Kelvin Kaindu. Not surprising, Nkana have conceded nine goals in their last five games while only managing to keep one clean sheet. The problem points to the backline. But that is not the only problem. They have scored only three in their last five games. It is clear even the frontline is a problem. Clearly they are limping, if not crawling, in all departments. Coach Kelvin Kaindu has also conceded that his team is lacking character albeit showing some intent in continental matches but not good enough on the whole. With Nkana, you can never rule out off-field issues.
Whatever the case, midfielder Freddy Tshimenga says players are determined to make things right on the field starting with the match against Namungo. “We will still continue to push because we have a big game on Sunday,” the Congolese said. “Even if we lost on Thursday, we’ve to get better in the next game. Namungo, we beat them in Tanzania, we have the confidence that we can get something.
“We are struggling, [but] we’re fighting even if we are losing. You can see the spirit of CLICK TO READ MORE