NICHRUT gaffer John Nyikadzino is anticipating a tough battle when his team face-off with his former paymasters, Chapungu, in a relegation scrap at Ascot Stadium.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Nyikadzino’s men go into tomorrow’s Gweru derby with a spring in their step, having won their last assignment against Bulawayo City.
The clash carries a lot of weight for both sides in their bid to survive.
In their debut season, Nichrut have had mixed fortunes and they currently occupy 15th position, just one rung before the safety zone.
Chapungu, on the otherhand, remained fixated on 13 position after their goalless draw with Dynamos, just two points above the relegation zone.
A win could see the airmen fly further into safety and a loss would leave them gasping for air.
Nichrut will be looking to complete a double over the Air Force side who they narrowly beat 1-0 in the reverse fixture played back in May at the same venue.
Though he was rather reserved in his comments, Nyikadzino said it’s a must-win encounter.
“We are both surviving on a life support system because both of us are not very safe from relegation. I am looking forward to post a positive result on Sunday.
“We have a few games left to play and the most crucial thing for us is to pick as many points as we can to avoid going back to Division One.
“Chapungu is amongst those teams that are like us and considering that fact, it becomes clear that it is going to be a tough match because nobody wants to be relegated. Also this match is a derby, but naturally as a coach, I expect my boys to win this crucial match for us.
“I respect Chapungu because that is the team where I spent most of my time, but on Sunday it will be a different scenario; it’s a must-win so that we avoid relegation.
Chapungu gaffer Rodwell Dlakama said their aim was to walk away with the Ascot bragging rights and ensure their safety. “We want to win and be the dominant side. Three points are at stake, so is our pride,” said Dlakama.
“We lost the previous match, but we need to re-write that and collect maximum points so that we make sure our safety is guaranteed.”