BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
WINNING the upcoming Cosafa tournament might not the priority for Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic (pictured left), but the Croatian will be under pressure to improve what has been a poor start to his tenure as the Zimbabwe national team coach thus far.
After recently naming an experimental squad for the regional tournament, which kicks-off in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Tuesday, the 55-year-old recently revealed that his target was not to win the competition.
“We are not talking about ‘are we going to win or are we not going to win (the Cup)?,” Logarusic said recently.
“We are in this tournament to try and make our team stronger for the World Cup qualification and to make our squad strong for the upcoming Afcon.
“And we are also using this competition to see who will play in qualification for the next Chan competition.”
However, for a coach, who has only managed one victory in his first eight matches in charge since his appointment over two years the Croatian will be under pressure to deliver a good performance in South Africa.
Despite leading Zimbabwe to the 2021 Afcon finals, Logarusic has a depressing winning percentage of just 12, 5% from his first eight matches, which had led some critics to question his suitability for the role.
Loga, as the gaffer is affectionately known, took the Warriors across the line, in a campaign that started under the tutelage of Joey Antipas, late 2019.
He took charge of three, of the five qualifying games, managing a return of only four points, out of a possible 12.
Logarusic also presided over the Warriors’ worst campaign at the African Nations Championship (Chan) finals in Cameroon, where Zimbabwe lost all their three matches and became the first team to return home.
Although he blamed the poor results on the Warriors’ chaotic preparations in the lead-up to the tournament, critics have, however, argued that the Zimbabwe side were not the only ones at the Chan finals, who were forced to deal with the same predicament.
The gutsy away performance by a depleted Warriors against Botswana in the penultimate round of the Afcon finals, however, erased the doubt generated by a disastrous showing at the January Chan finals in Cameroon.
After making several changes to the squad in the final Afcon qualifier, which Zimbabwe lost 2-0 at home against Zambia, Logarusic will, therefore, head to the Cosafa competition seeking only his second win as the Zimbabwe coach.
Logarusic’s record as Warriors coach
African Cup of Nations Qualifiers
- Algeria 3-1Zimbabwe (L)
- Zimbabwe 2-2 Algeria (D)
- Botswana 0-1 Zimbabwe (W)
- Zimbabwe 0-2 Zambia (L)
African Nations Championships 2020
- Cameroon 1-0 Zimbabwe (L)
- Burkina Faso 3-1 Zimbabwe (L)
- Mali 1-0 Zimbabwe (L)
- Malawi 0-0 Zimbabwe (D)