Flames technical consultant Andy Dell says he has discovered what he thinks leads to the national team’s lapse in concentration in critical stages of matches.
“Lapse in concentration is also due to the fact that the players are not subjected to pressure in training. It’s about different coaching techniques. After losing to Mozambique, we tried different things and it worked,” Dell said this in an exclusive interview at Moruleng Stadium, South Africa on Thursday.
He spoke as the Flames wrapped up their 2015 Cosafa Cup post-match penalties loss to Mozambique and wins [5-4] over South Africa and Zambia (1-0) to lift the Cosafa Plate trophy.
“If players are not subjected to pressure during training you cannot expect them to handle pressure during games. It is about decision-making when under pressure. For example, Limbikani Mzava—I’m not blaming him—should have cleared the ball instead of leaving it.”
Contrary to what sport scientist Mark Tembo attributed the concentration lapse to inadequate physical fitness, the Englishman cited three coaching gaps.
“It’s about preparations for games, preparation for training and communication between coaches and players,” said the Reading Academy trainer who is with FAM for a month-long deal to prepare the Flames for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
“Players work hard on the field and it is important that they feel appreciated. Team spirit starts with the coaches. Unfortunately, if you don’t do that the players are left to lift themselves up.”
Dell insisted that the Flames must learn from coach Ricardo Manetti who steered Namibia to Cosafa Cup triumph on Saturday after beating Mozambique 2-0.
“Namibia players do everything together and every morning, the coach greets each and every player. We have to try and build same team spirit. It has been a mixed tournament because of the negatives and positives,” Dell noted.
He said he would submit a report to FAM president over his analysis of the happenings in the team to equip it ahead of the 2017 Afcon qualifiers.
“Certain players did well and some did not. Gerald Phiri [Jnr] is developing and Micium Mhone is one for the future. McDonald Harawa stepped up after the first game,” he summed up.