FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza is expecting a tough match when his charges take on a youthful Highlanders outfit in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Mandava tomorrow.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
The reigning champions are on fire, having displaced Ngezi Platinum from the summit of the log following last weekend’s 2-1 triumph over their fellow platinum rivals.
Highlanders on the other hand lost their last encounter 0-1 to Bulawayo Chiefs.
But Mapeza says undermining Madinda Ndlovu’s youthful side can be suicidal and he is anticipating a tough match against the Bulawayo giants.
“It is a big game for us. We are playing a very good side, if you check their away record has been fantastic, which is a sign that they are not a team to be underestimated, but we are equally preparing for the challenge, “he said yesterday.
“Following our preparations, I can safely say we ready for the encounter. We know they have a big following which rallies behind them whether they are playing at home or away but that doesn’t matter to us at this stage.
“Highlanders, Caps United and Dynamos have a similar following but I have always told my players not to be deterred by that.
“We are just going to focus on our game. They have a very youthful squad which is full of running and the most important thing us for is to adjust.
“Mental strength is key when we play such a game, this team might be 12 points behind us but we are expecting a tough challenge.
“We have to get a positive result on Saturday (tommorow) because the second half of the season will be massive, there will be a lot of twists and turns in this marathon.”
Mapeza also expressed satisfaction with what his charges have achieved so far.
“I am more than happy with what we have achieved so far but this last match before we go to the season break has to yield a positive result so that we rest on a high note.
“Overall I have been happy because the results are coming.
“We only drew against Triangle and have been winning each and every game so right now we have to start from where we left against Ngezi and see what we can achieve,” said.
With 41 points, Mapeza’s side are 12 points clear off Highlanders and a win will see the miners maintain pole position into the mid-season break as they chase history to become the first team outside of the traditional big three, to defend their league title.