FC Platinum coach Rahman Gumbo says he is not under any pressure as he takes on his former club Highlanders in the second round of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
Gumbo, two-time championship winner with the Bulawayo football giants, said there was nothing special about today’s match and they will be playing their normal game.
“We are taking this match like any other match in the league. There is nothing special about the match and we have just been training as usual,” Gumbo said.
Gumbo, who has also won the league in Malawi and Botswana, said his charges are focused although they are disappointed after sharing the spoils in a goalless draw with relegation-fighting Zimbabwe Saints at White City Stadium.
“Morale is high in camp, we do not have any injuries and the boys are focused. Of course they are disappointed with dropping points against Zimbabwe Saints on Sunday but it is part of the game. Tomorrow’s (today) is just like any other game,” Gumbo said.
The Midlands moneybags seek a win to reclaim top spot on the log-standings as they are neck-to-neck at 40 points with champions Motor Action, but with a game in hand.
Gumbo returns to Bulawayo and Emagumeni, specifically, after six years as he led Motor Action to an Independence Trophy 2-0 victory in 2005 against Bosso.
Former Bosso players, Zephania and Joel Ngodzo, Menard Mupera and defender Brighton Dube are now part of the FC Platinum squad.
The moneybags also boast of a contingent of some of the best players in the land who include reigning Soccer Star of the Year Charles Sibanda, DRC returnee Mthulisi Maphosa, Benjamin Marere, Donald Ngoma, Bhekimpilo Ncube, Itai Gwandu, Norman Maroto, Daniel Vheremu and goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube.
Sibanda and Ngoma found their names on the score sheet when Gumbo dispatched Highlanders 2-0 on his first assignment with the platinum miners at Mandava Stadium on June 8, a game that was played on a Wednesday.
Highlanders’ gaffer Mkhuphali “Mr Cooper” Masuku also down-played the hype of the match and said he was not looking back to the 2-0 defeat, but what was important is collecting maximum points.
Masuku said he held a clean bill of health on his players and was ready for the 2011 championship favourites.
“It’s just one of those games that we play and what is critical is for us to collect the three points. All is well in camp and we are ready for FC Platinum. I do not want to dwell much on the past, that is, losing to them in Zvishavane” Masuku said.
Bosso lost 1-0 to Motor Action last Saturday, have slumped to position five on the log-standings, but with a game in hand over Chicken Inn and Dynamos and a win this afternoon will re-establish them on position three.
Mr Cooper has Rahman Kutsanzira, Graham Ncube, Vincent Nzombe, Eric Mudzingwa and Louis Matawu who could carry the day for the Bulawayo football giants.
Captain Gilbert Banda and partner Innocent Mapuranga are also available at the back to shut out FC Platinum with goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda in-between the goal posts.