HARARE City have been one of the impressive teams in the league so far, with their coach Mark Harrison recently rating them as the third best team after FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars.
BY HENRY MHARA
Opposition coaches have also been falling on each other, drooling on the mesmerising manner the Sunshine Boys have been playing this season.
Chicken Inn’s Joey Antipas described City as “one of the best teams” in the league, Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya believes they are the most exciting and Amini Soma-Phiri, who was recently fired by Bulawayo City, was left convinced they are the most complete team this term.
Numbers, though, don’t lie. For all the praises they have been receiving, particularly for their fast-paced and “carpet football”, City are seventh on the log standings with 31 points, 15 behind log leaders FC Platinum.
They have dominated possession in almost all their matches this season, and probably created the most number of chances in the league this term.
They have just 19 goals to show for that, the same number of strikes, with Shabanie Mine, who are second bottom of the log standings, while Yadah, on 10th, have actually scored more.
City have drawn the most number of matches, 10, in matches they believe should have actually won.
Harrison has blamed lack of firepower as the reason for not being in the top three on the standings.
Even the capture of highly-rated Ishmael Wadi last month has, so far, failed to yield the desired results.
Ahead of their match against bottom-placed Mutare City at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon, Harrison has called his team to be more clinical if they want to occupy their rightful place on the log.
“We really need to start converting our possession because we are having excessive possession in games. We need to convert that and our chances into goal,” he said at the team’s weekly Press conference yesterday.
“If we can do that, we start picking wins and three points which we need to do. I have spoken to the players about it, we are in a comfort zone too much. So we need to take ourselves out, express ourselves a bit more and demand a little bit more from ourselves.”
They are unbeaten in their last five matches, but with just one win and four draws.
Today, they face a bottom-placed and a struggling Mutare City side that has lost all its last five matches.
On paper, this is an easy match for City, but Harrison sees a potential banana skin.
“It’s a difficult one, we have to be careful with complacency. The players need to guard against that because mentally they can go into the game thinking Mutare City are bottom and we can take three points without trying,” he said.
“But it never works like that. What we have to do is respect the fact that they are bottom and fighting for their life and they will come and have a go so we have to be prepared for that.
“We have to earn our right to play in tomorrow (today)’s game, and we have to go out there and try to establish ourselves on top of them and win the game.”
Defender Ray Uchena will miss the match for City after picking an injury at training last week.