Dynamos coach, Lloyd Mutasa has cautioned his side against getting carried away with their win over Caps United in the semi-finals of the ZNA Charities trophy ahead of their clash with Highlanders in the final at the weekend.
BY HENRY MHARA
The youthful DeMbare side managed to upset an experienced Caps United team 1-0 to book a place in the final, in a performance that attracted an ovation from the club’s supporters.
Mutasa was forced to field a largely inexperienced side after senior players boycotted the match in protest over unpaid salaries, winning allowances and signing on fees.
But the “kids” outshone their bitter rivals, with midfielder, Kudzanai Dhemere the outstanding performer.
Yesterday, Mutasa, who welcomed back his senior players that ended a training boycott, said that the youngsters should forget about the Caps United match and focus on their next challenge.
“In life it’s easy to forget, especially when you are at Dynamos. You cannot dwell on history, the Caps United victory is already history. The youngsters should know that if the supporters were throwing sweets to them because of the victory, they shouldn’t be surprised if they see stones coming to them from the same supporters if they don’t do well against Highlanders. If you play for Dynamos, you always have to be up on your toes and try to give your best so that you remain in control of the situation,” he said.
Mutasa said he is pleased to have his full squad back in training. The senior players downed tools on Tuesday last week to force the club’s executive to address their grievances. Players had been receiving half salaries since January last year, and are owed over $2 500 in winning bonuses from last season, and varying amounts in signing on fees.
The club has since cleared the arrears, and have made a payment plan for the winning bonuses and signing fees, which has been accepted by the players.
“We welcomed them back and they are working as usual. It’s quite a boost because you would want to have all your personnel around and choose a team from a big pool. We are happy as the technical team that everyone has reported for work.”
However, Mutasa said despite the senior players’ return, he would not make wholesale changes to the squad that impressed against Caps United.
When asked if the senior players are in his plans for the immediate task, Mutasa responded: “It can be a yes or no depending on the way they are executing their duties. Remember they have been away for some time, so we will try and integrate those that will add a new dimension to the other guys who played. We don’t want to end up having a whole lot of those who were not training, but to try and juggle around those who were here training and those who we think might give us an edge.
“The youngsters gave their best; they were a joy to watch. That can only, but push the elders that are coming back to up their game and that would be good for our institution. Their (seniors) absence has been a setback, because it’s like starting all over again.”
The Dynamos coach expects a tough match against Highlanders.
“Highlanders is just as good as Caps United, so it won’t be an easy task. We are expecting a good game, a big battle if you look at how we played against them last season. The first game, we won it in the boardroom, but the score line was 1-1 then the return leg we played a draw again and we played friendlies using the youngsters and the games ended in stalemates as well. Its going to be a tough match.
“Its not difficult (to motivate players) for this match because they know Bosso is a big team so there is no element of taking it light, the way they might prepare for other teams. We are bracing ourselves well knowing that we are going to play a strong Highlanders side, and the only way we can beat them is by giving 120%.”