FC Platinum seek consistency

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Norman Mapeza

FC PLATINUM head coach Norman Mapeza has expressed optimism that his charges will register a second victory on the trot when the platinum miners host How Mine in a Castle Premiership encounter this afternoon at Mandava Stadium.

BY SAKHELENI NXUMALO

Pure Platinum Play beat visiting Tsholotsho 3-0 in their previous encounter for their second win of the season and Mapeza believes victory against visiting Chikurupati will be the right tonic to get their stuttering campaign back on track.

“The most important thing is to have consistency because we have not been consistent so far this season so we are hoping to post a positive result against How Mine,” Mapeza said.

The hosts will be without combative linkman Thabani Kamusoko, who is out with a muscle strain, and forward Donald Ngoma, who is suspended.

Ngoma picked up yellow cards in his team’s matches against Caps United in March, Whawha in April and against Tsholotsho last Friday.

FC Platinum come up against a How Mine team that is still buzzing with confidence after their 6-0 demolition of PSL debutants Whawha last Saturday.

So high is the confidence in Chikurupati’s camp that their coach Luke Masomere is reported to have declared that playing at Mandava is akin to playing at home for him.

Masomere is a highly respected figure in Zvishavane having spent many years in charge of FC Platinum’s local rivals Shabanie Mine. One man who will attract a lot of attention from fans and FC Platinum fans alike is the pint sized Timothy January.

January’s four goal haul in How Mine’s match against Whawha left football followers puzzled why prior to that tie he had been wasting away on the bench.

Today’s fixture will see a number of former FC Platinum stars making a return to Mandava to face their former paymasters and these include last season’s joint top goal-scorer Charles Sibanda, Menard Mupera, Gilbert Banda and Benjamin Marere.

FC Platinum are in position 11 with seven points to their credit while How Mine are in the upper half of the table in position four after registering 12 points.

A win for the hosts today will go a long way in placating elements within the Pure Platinum Play family that have been agitating for Mapeza’s removal following their indifferent start to the season.

This because How Mine is a star studded outfit that boasts of among other big name players, last season’s joint top scorers Sibanda and Kuda Musharu, veteran striker Limited Chikafa and former Caps United captain Tapiwa Kumbuyani.

Youthful vigour could be key for FC Platinum as the team has a considerable number of youngsters in its ranks while most of the players in the How Mine camp are a bit long in the tooth.

Meanwhile, Tsholotsho Football Club head coach Lizwe Sweswe is hoping his charges have recovered psychologically from their biggest loss since making their PSL debut when Iziqholo zeZhwane host Chapungu at White City this afternoon.

“Psychologically the boys could not cope with what they encountered last week at Mandava in terms of the match officiating.

“This whole experience is a learning process for most of my boys and I cannot blame them for the way things panned out because they were not at fault,” Sweswe said.

Tsholotsho were hammered 3-0 by FC Platinum in their last league outing in a game that Sweswe contends was characterised by some questionable match officiating.

The PSL newcomers had prior to last week’s big loss managed to hold their own in the top flight by registering two wins over Harare City and Whawha, drawing twice against Hwange and Buffaloes while in their two defeats to Highlanders and Chicken Inn they lost by a respectable 1-0 score line.

Chapungu on the other hand endured a poor start to their campaign but have since recovered and sit in position nine on the log with a similar number of points.

The airmen are perched a rung above Tsholotsho who have accumulated eight points.