Bulawayo City head coach Bekithemba Ndlovu has said Dynamos are no different from his team, as the two teams are fighting relegation ahead of their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
BY FORTUNE MBELE / TERRY MADYAUTA
The former Highlanders captain said the only difference between the two teams was that DeMbare were an old team, while Bulawayo City are relatively a new side.
Ndlovu is confident that his side will emerge victorious against Dynamos, as they have been playing well of late despite a string of poor results.
When Bulawayo City visited Dynamos in Harare in April, they lost 2-1 at Rufaro Stadium under fired coach Darlington Dodo.
“The Dynamos game is just like any other because the Glamour Boys are also in the relegation zone just like Bulawayo City. There is nothing special about Dynamos, maybe just their history. They were formed in 1963, they are older than Bulawayo City, but on performance and the log standings, I think we are in the same boat. We are treating them as any other team because all our games now are like cup finals, as we need to win all of them,” he said.
Ndlovu said they had been playing well of late, but a win has been elusive and going into today’s match, they are not looking at the boardroom problems at Dynamos, which led to the Harare giants players boycotting training this week.
Ndlovu said their task would be to silence Dynamos’ multitude of supporters.
“We have not been winning, but I cannot put the blame on the boys. They have been putting effort and exhibiting good football. It is just a matter of time. The win will come, but it must not be too late. Since I took over as head coach, the boys have been responding well and have been improving with every game,” he said.
City need the win more than Dynamos as they sit on position 17 on the log table with 15 points, compared to their guests’ 26 points with two games in hand.
The local authority side is without injured defender Erick Mudzingwa and striker Justine Kaunda.
Dynamos had their own problems during the week, which saw players go on industrial action over unpaid bonuses.
The Harare football giants assistant coach Joseph Takaringofa admitted to shoddy preparations, but said things had returned to normal.
“Preparations haven’t been well because there have been problems, but they have been solved. There were monetary problems, but it has been sorted and things are back to normal. We are going down there to get a win. Whatever happens (in our camp), we want three points,” he said.
Meanwhile, reigning champions and log leaders FC Platinum face a resurgent Mutare City Rovers in what looks like a tricky Premiership assignment at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
The platinum miners’ title defence has been smooth sailing, as they have remained at the apex of the log standings since June.
Norman Mapeza’s charges have amassed 55 points and appear poised to retain their title with a favourable set of fixtures remaining.
The Zvishavane side will be looking forward to complete a double over Rovers, having beaten them 1-0 in the first leg played in May.
FC Platinum are coming from a convincing 3-1 win over Bulawayo Chiefs, a victory that helped them open a four-point gap ahead of their closest rivals, Ngezi Platinum.
Mutare City are also coming from a surprise win over title contenders Ngezi Platinum and would want to continue with their form as they try to steer their ship out of the murky waters of relegation.
Mapeza is aware that today’s opponents pose a big threat and is guarding against being one of their victims.
“We are facing a very good team. In their past games, they did very well and overall, Ndega (Matsika) has done well,” Mapeza said.
“In this second part of the season, I can say Mutare City have been one of the most consistent teams. They have not been picking up points, but they have excelled in terms of their performance. I am not talking about how much points they have accumulated, but their play seems to have improved.”
The veteran coach expects nothing less than maximum points from his charges.
“In every game, we are fighting for three points. Mutare City are fighting for maximum points. We don’t have injuries in our team. We hope for a positive result,” he said.
Mapeza said there was need to respect Mutare City despite their current position on the log table.
“We need to give them the respect they deserve. We will be in trouble if we don’t do that. The respect we give to Dynamos, Highlanders or Ngezi is the same we should give to all teams, including Bulawayo City.”
Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Black Rhinos (Luveve), FC Platinum v Mutare City (Mandava), Harare City v Herentals (Rufaro), Chapungu v Triangle (Ascot), Yadah v Chicken Inn (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), Bulawayo City v Dynamos (Barbourfields)
Tomorrow: Caps v Nichrut (NSS), Highlanders v Ngezi (Barbourfields)