BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS’ coach Mandla Mpofu fears Prince Dube, Nqobizitha Masuku and Peter Muduhwa could be affected by fatigue as they face their third game in seven days when Bosso take on high-riding Black Rhinos in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields (BF) Stadium tomorrow.
The three, together with goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda were in action for the Warriors on Sunday at BF when the national team beat Mauritius in an African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier before they featured for the club in a mid-week league game against Chapungu on Wednesday at BF as well.
They are back in action tomorrow in yet another physically challenging game against army side Black Rhinos, who are on a roll
Following the match against Chapungu on Wednesday Mpofu said fatigue could be taking its toll on his three key players, but he needs them to lift his side to within the championship chasing sides.
Dube notched a hat-trick for the Warriors on Sunday and scored the winner for Highlanders on Wednesday against the airmen.
“We had three players that were in action three days ago, Nqobizitha, Prince and Peter for the national team. I knew they would not give their best, but I think they did very well (against Chapungu); but in the dying minutes of the game I think Masuku made some mistakes and it was always expected. He was a little bit tired. It is now going to be three games in seven days for them so it’s important that we dig even deeper on how best they can recover. They are key players and we need them and the big question is will they last?” Mpofu said.
Pointing out that Highlanders need another win tomorrow, he added: “Prince might make it, Nqobizitha worries me but Peter can soldier on and I don’t have any doubt about Ariel. They have to go through a good recovery process; maybe an ice bath will do.”
Central defender Tendai Ndlovu was pulled out injured in the second half against Chapungu on Wednesday.
They take on Rhinos who have done well so far under coach Herbert Maruwa and are just two points behind log-leaders FC Platinum on 30 points sitting on position three at par with Chicken Inn, who head to Nyamhunga Stadium tomorrow after playing a goalless draw with struggling TelOne at Ascot Stadium on Wednesday.