Only one Flames striker has scored in the past 15 matches, a development that coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) has attributed to lack of confidence in front of goal
Mozambique-based forward Richard Mbulu is the only one to have found the back of the net in over a year.
He scored in Flames’ 1-0 win over Togo in an international friendly match on September 4. Before that, the last striker to get on the scoresheet was Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango who claimed a hat-trick when the Flames beat Angola 3-0 in June last year at the Cosafa Cup in Namibia.
In an interview yesterday, RVG described it as a psychological problem.
“In training, they are able to perform and score freely, but when it comes to a game situation, it is all different.
“It is something to do with self belief and confidence. We have to work on preparing them psychologically so that when they are in front of goal they should not be afraid of missing, but they should have the confidence to score,” he said.
“We have not lost in the past six matches, but then we have also not won enough games because we lack fire-power in the attacking third.”
In the 11 games under RVG, the Flames have not scored more than one goal in a match. They have also scored a total of five goals only.
He dismissed suggestions that it has to do with his new philosophy and tactics, arguing: “They are able to apply that during training and they have done it well.”
RVG also said despite the goal drought, he still has faith in the strikers he has.
“I will still maintain them. As I said, the only one who hasn’t been called is [Easu] Kanyenda, but he will be called at an appropriate time.”
Veteran tactician and legendary forward Yasin Osman said scoring goals goes beyond strikers.
“We also have to look at the supply lines, that is to say are those tasked to create chances doing enough?
“For a team to score, they need to get into the box more often and you also need to have enough players in the box so as to create panic to the opponents. So, maybe these are some of the factors that we can look into.
“The other aspect could be tactics and system of play because as a coach, you should not change your players to suit a system that you want, rather you should create a system that suits your players. So, without necessarily referring to the national coach, I do not know if that has been looked into because it could be something to do with the system.”