FC PLATINUM host How Mine in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer match at Mandava Stadium today under the tactical guidance of Patrick Mandizha, who replaced their most successful coach Lloyd Mutasa.
Pre-match hype of today’s encounter is centering on the departure of Mutasa who threw in the towel, with reports to the effect that his tactical acumen had failed to charm most of the platinum miners supporters and some members of the executive.
It will be rather reckless to claim that Mutasa was a failure at FC Platinum after he managed to surpass Rahman Gumbo’s achievements.
Both mentors won the Uhuru Cup, with Mutasa going further to decorate his former paymasters’ trophy cabinet with the C G Msipa Cup.
The former Warriors assistant coach, who is regarded as the best in mentoring the passing game in the country, managed to transform the Midlands giants to play an attractive brand of football.
He left the club in a respectable sixth position seven points behind the trio of joint log leaders Highlanders, ZPC Kariba and champions Dynamos, keeping in mind that he had to do battle without a number of his injured stars.
Samaita also managed to exorcise the ghost that since the team won promotion in 2011 they have never beaten Dynamos and the former’s tactical acumen broke that jinx.
Now it is time for Mandizha to fill the big boots left by Mutasa and the former is fully aware of the size of the task that lies in waiting.
“There is a lot of pressure involved from both teams. We have not been doing well of late and we all want to win.
“But there is a lot of pressure on us because we are playing at home. For me there is also pressure because it is my first game in charge of the team.
“Petros (Mhari) is out but Donald (Ngoma), Qadar (Amin) and Thabani (Kamusoko) might return. If they fail to come back we will work with what we have to get a positive result,” said Mandizha.
The visitors will have to do without the experienced trio of Ephraim Mazarura, Brighton Dube and Menard Mupera who are down with injuries.
How Mine coach Philani ‘Beefy’ Ncube surmise that the appointment of a new coach at the Zvishavane based side makes the tie tricky. “That is a dangerous side. They have a new coach and we have never seen his tactics before so we do not know what to expect.
“It is not any easy game for us and we have to start collecting points to be able to achieve our objectives. At all cost we going into the field of play aiming to get three points but sometimes you do not get what we want.
“Three of our senior players will not be available but we have equally good players who can do the job at hand,” said Ncube.