Mapeza stays grounded

Despite his team opening up a four-point gap between themselves and their title rivals Ngezi Platinum Stars, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is not getting carried away by the buffer which he knows can be wiped off.

BY TERRY MADYAUTA

Only last week, they were in a similar situation, but they saw their lead being trimmed to one point after they lost to Harare City, with Ngezi beating Shabanie.

At the weekend, Mapeza’s side collected maximum points, but their rivals stumbled when they were beaten by relegation-threatened Mutare City Rovers on Sunday.

FC Platinum’s 3-1 win over Bulawayo saw the Zvishavane-based side taking a firm grip on the top position and their title defence looks well on course.

For Mapeza, however, it’s still too early to talk about the championship.

“I am happy that people are being positive,” the FC Platinum boss said. “But it’s pretty early to talk about this (title), because we still have a number of big games to play.
For sure, we are in this competition, we are doing well to stay on top of the table. It is important to understand that it is not easy. If someone thinks that FC Platinum will become the eventual champions, they should accept that it’s not going to be easy. We need to stay focused, calm and prepare for the challenges ahead of us. The basic thing is to work hard.”

FC Platinum will be looking to emulate other teams such as Dynamos that have managed to defend the title.

The platinum miners have amassed 55 points, while their closest rivals, Ngezi, are four points behind with 51 points.

Third-placed Chicken Inn are 11 points behind the log leaders.

Ngezi have, however, given stiff competition, but seem to run out of steam each time they get a realistic chance of overtaking FC Platinum.


Last season, they slumped at the 11th hour of the title run-in, making FC Platinum passage to victory a lot easier.

Fixtures

Saturday: Bulawayo Chiefs v Black Rhinos (Luveve), FC Platinum v Mutare City Rovers (Mandava), Harare City v Herentals (Rufaro), Chapungu v Triangle United (Ascot), Yadah v Chicken Inn (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), Bulawayo City v Dynamos (Barbourfields),

Sunday: Caps United v Nichrut (NSS), Highlanders v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Barbourfields)

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