FC Platinum hard pressed for victory

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Norman Mapeza

FC PLATINUM host Tsholotsho in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Mandava Stadium this afternoon hoping to breathe life into their campaign.

BY MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE

The platinum miners have lost four of their opening six league matches this season and have won just one and drawn the season opener.

They beat Flame Lily 3-0 and drew 2-2 against Dongo Sawmills.

But they have come unstuck against Caps United (1-0), Chicken Inn (3-1), Harare City (2-1) Hwahwa (2-1) and need to start winning.

They now find themselves in an unfamiliar relegation territory and will be hoping to utilise territorial advantage to quickly navigate their way up the ladder before it is too late.

Despite the indifferent start to the campaign, coach Norman Mapeza will approach the game with minimum pressure as the club bosses have recently publicly claimed that the club still has confidence in their coach’s tactical prowess.

The coach, however, attributes the faith in him by the bosses to the way the team is playing, saying his charges are just unfortunate that results are not coming their way.

“The team has been playing well. It is there for everyone to see, only that we were not winning our matches. We just need to continue working hard and results will come,” he said.

Today, they face tricky Premiership debutants Tsholotsho who have played fairly in their maiden season so far.

After six rounds of matches, the league’s newcomers are on position eight with as many points and will be looking forward to add to that tally.

But Mapeza says his charges have prepared adequately for the game and is confident of a positive result.

“The team has not been getting positive results, so we need to get a positive result. Everything is fine in our camp and we are just preparing for the game. Everyone is available for selection and we are confident of getting a positive result,” Mapeza said.

Mapeza is not new to such rocky starts, having lost the opening four matches when he was in charge of Monomotapa before guiding the team to the league title in 2008.

Pure Platinum Play’s usually dependable midfielder Wisdom Mutasa is likely to face one of his sternest tasks so far this season in his offensive midfield role.

The Young Warriors captain is likely to highlight the battle of the afternoon against international teammate Gerald Takwara who plays as a deep holding midfielder for Iziqholo zeZhwane.

Takwara has recently drawn comparison of yesteryear midfield stalwarts like the late Benjamin Nkonjera and Tinashe Nengomasha for his starring performances in the Young Warriors shirt.

If he is on top of his game, Takwara is likely to give the miners a torrid time to break their defence barricade.

Mapeza will also need to work on his attack that has failed to complement their midfielders by not converting chances, if he needs to get a positive result at home.

Tsholotsho go into the match with a heavy heart after their sponsor Mandla Manyathela’s shop was gutted by fire on Wednesday.
Property worth over $300 000 was destroyed and nothing could salvaged as Tsholotsho does not have a fire brigade and had to wait for assistance from Bulawayo-115km.