BY HENRY MHARA
WHEN it looked like everything was falling in place in the Dynamos camp with the return to full fitness of Ngangu Mangala earlier this week, the Harare giants have been hit with a fresh injury blow with Cameroonian midfielder Claude Junior Nkahan ruled out of the tough match away to Chicken Inn tomorrow.
The midfielder, who dazzled on his debut for DeMbare in the 2-1 defeat to Hwange last weekend, will miss the trip to Bulawayo due to an ankle injury he picked at training yesterday.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe confirmed the return of Mangala who missed last weekend’s defeat due to an ankle injury.
The Congolese, who scored a double for the side on his debut a fortnight ago, is expected to play a leading role upfront.
Nkahan, nicknamed Neymar, is unavailable, while exciting rightback Emmanuel Jalayi, who was also outstanding against Hwange, is a major doubt.
“Mangala is back, Junior (Nkahan) out. We are not sure about Jalayi, but definitely Junior is out, he failed to last the distance in training. So the doctors have advised us he cannot be used on Saturday,” Chigowe said.
Nkahan’s absence will no doubt be a major blow for the team, but Chigove chose not to mourn about it.
“I have always said that we are a collective, we are a group and we are getting stronger together. Modern football is about squads, it’s not about individuals. Yes, individuals do make a difference like Lionel Messi and Neymar, but in the end it’s about the group and the group is good to go.”
He admitted his team is facing yet another tough test, against a high-flying Chicken Inn who have picked maximum points in their opening two matches. But Chigowe feels his squad is ready for battle.
“They are showing hunger, they look like they want to fight and you must expect a fight in Bulawayo. We are ready to compete in the battle royal at Barbourfields. We commend the boys for a very good performance (against Hwange), but we have reminded them that it was not good enough, even if we perform well. So we want them to put an extra shift and make sure that we give Chicken Inn the fight of their lives.”
Castle Lager Premier Soccer Lager week 3 fixtures
Tomorrow: TelOne v ZPC Kariba (Mandava), Harare City v Highlanders (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Dynamos (Barbourfields).
Sunday: Hwange v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Colliery), Herentals v Yadah (Rufaro), Triangle United v Manica Diamonds (Gibbo)
Monday: Mushowani Stars v FC Platinum (Rufaro)
Postponed: Caps United v Chapungu, Black Rhinos v Bulawayo Chief