We need our 12th man: Mafu

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HIGHLANDERS head coach Bongani Mafu has made a passionate appeal to the team’s fans to rally behind the team on Sunday when they square up against How Mine at Barbourfields Stadium.

BY THANDIWE MOYO

Addressing journalists during Highlanders’ weekly press conference yesterday, Mafu appealed for patience from the team’s followers.

“I would like to make an appeal to the Highlanders supporters to continue supporting the boys the way they did at Platinum,” he said.

“I know we are all worried about the lack of flair in our play, but we also feel that if we get our 12th man standing by, we are going to turn Barbourfields into a fortress that no one should breach.

“The people supported the boys until that confidence came back. When the confidence came back, we started moving, supporting, marking and doing everything that excites the fans,” Mafu said, referring to the FC Platinum match at Mandava last Saturday which ended in a 2-2 draw.

He added: “How Mine is a strong side and with the 12th man on our side how will How Mine come out of BF? (Barbourfields).”
The Highlanders gaffer said they would be without some of their key players who are still nursing injuries.

“Mthulisi Maphosa is still out injured, Gabriel Nyoni has a pulled hamstring and Ozias Zibande is out with a knee injury.

Obadiah Tarumbwa has a chest injury while Teenage Hadebe is carrying a slight knock. Of these, Teenage has a 50/50 chance of playing while I am still to hear from the doctors about Oba’s chest X-rays,” he said.

Mafu added: “Also out of Sunday’s tie is goalkeeper Takunda Mutanga who has a stomach ailment while Welcome Ndiweni is a bit under the weather.”

How Mine are now fourth on the log after a bad start to the season, but have amassed 21 points following their 2-1 win over ZPC Kariba at the weekend while Highlanders are seventh on 18 points.