HIGHLANDERS head coach Bongani Mafu is hopeful that a victory against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium this afternoon will signal a much needed turnaround for his team that has experienced a frustrating first quarter of the Castle Lager Premiership (PSL) season.
BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO/THANDIWE MOYO/MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
Speaking during a Highlanders Press conference on Thursday, Mafu said consistency was their pursuit this weekend.
“We need to grow from the win against WhaWha and keep on improving with each passing game. We need a bit of consistency. I want to try and beat everyone I play against and hopefully when we play against the big boys this weekend we will not only get the results but out play them as well,” Mafu said.
Highlanders have won five times, drawn twice and lost four times in the 11 games they have played so far this season. Bosso sit in position six on the log with 17 points and lead seventh placed Pure Platinum Play by a single point.
Honest Moyo had a good game playing at centre back for Highlanders against WhaWha and Mafu said he may continue in that role since regular central defender Teenage Hadebe is with the Young Warriors alongside Nqobizitha Masuku and Thomas Chideu.
On the other hand, FC Platinum will have to do without Wisdom Mutasa and Aaron Katebe who are on duty with their respective national teams while Tarisai Rukanda and Obrey Chirwa are injury worries.
“Confidence has been there all along and the team has been playing well from the start of the season, only that sometimes results did not come our way,” FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said.
“Now that the team is winning we just need to keep the momentum and continue winning. Moral in our camp has always been high and I am confident of a good result against Highlanders.
“We have close to seven first team players that will not be available for selection, but those who are present have to fill the void left by others.”
In other matches, Buffaloes’ head coach Joseph Takaringofa has declared that his charges will not show log leaders Chicken Inn any respect when the two sides clash in a league encounter at Luveve Stadium this afternoon.
Buffaloes go into today’s fixture sitting on fifth position from the bottom with 12 points from 11 matches following an indifferent start to the season that has seen them register two wins, six draws and three losses.
But despite their precarious position on the log, Takaringofa is confident that his charges will come away with a positive result against the Premiership pacesetters.
“We are going to play our normal game because while they may be the current log leaders, we consider Chicken Inn to be just like any other PSL team.
“All games are tough and we just have to work hard and hopefully at the end of the day we will come away with a positive result,” Takaringofa said.
Former Tanganda and Caps United linkman Takaringofa led his charges to a 2-1 victory over Harare City in their previous encounter while their hosts this afternoon suffered their second defeat of the season after going down 1-0 away to Hwange last week.
Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas told NewsDay Sport earlier this week that they were well prepared for the match and were gunning for a win.
The Gamecocks lead the Premiership log table with 23 points to their credit.
They will be without defender Lawrence Mhlanga who is away on national duty with the Young Warriors. Buffaloes are without the services of holding midfielder Liberty Chakoroma, who is also with the Under-23 squad, while Shepherd Nkata is suspended after picking up three yellow cards.
Tomorrow at Luveve, inconsistent How Mine will host equally struggling ZPC Kariba whose fortunes have not improved significantly since parting ways with reigning coach of the year Saul Chaminuka.
How Mine are missing the services of right back Morris Kadzola who is serving a one match suspension after accumulating three yellow cards.