Pagels wants time to rebuild Zimbabwe Warriors team

Zimbabwe Warriors coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels has asked for more time to craft his side into a formidable force in African football
The German-born gaffer has just taken charge of two competitive matches since being appointed last November.

Pagels witnessed his Warriors fall 4-2 to Egypt on Sunday as the Pharaohs completed back-to-back wins in World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe after a 2-1 win in Alexandria in March.

Friendly internationals against neighbours Botswana, Zambia and Malawi have yielded a 2-1 win, 2-0 loss and 1-1 draw respectively.
“The defeat to Egypt does not matter much because rebuilding needs time,” Pagels told reporters after Tuesday’s morning training session.

“We cannot expect players to gel in just two matches. I think we need eight to 10 matches playing at a high level then we can start saying we are there. Players need to grow in confidence because if you look at a player like Felix (Chindungwe), he played very well in Zambia but he was overwhelmed by the big crowd against Egypt. This shows we need more matches of such calibre. So far we are on a good way in this project.”
The 63-year-old mentor is using the remaining time to build a team for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The Warriors continue with their dead-rubber World Cup qualifiers when
they travel to Conakry to face Guinea this Sunday in what is undoubtedly another acid test for Pagels.

With two matches to go before the conclusion of World Cup qualifiers, they are at the basement of Group G which also include Mozambique who they play at home in September.

“The two remaining matches are so important. They are competitive matches needed to build a strong team. We want to win these games for the players to start believing in themselves,” said Pagels.

Zimbabwe travel to Guinea without the South African-based midfield duo of Khama Billiat and Matthew Rusike who, according to Pagels, have “muscle problems.”

They have been replaced by Highlanders attacking link-man Masimba Mambare and Hwange defender Erick Chipeta. Billiat played the second half of the Egypt match while Rusike was on the bench.