HIGHLANDERS coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh wants his team to ride on the two wins they mustered in their last two matches against Dynamos, in a cup match, as well as against Bulawayo Chiefs, in a league match, as they plunge into the big Bulawayo derby against title-chasing Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The Bulawayo giants sought to play that match under floodlights, but the arrangement fell through.
De Jongh presided over Highlanders when they beat Dynamos in the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday in his first official assignment, having watched his side beat Bulawayo Chiefs in a league match at BF last Wednesday as he awaited the processing of his work permit.
He has since expressed discontent with the fixtures, complaining that Highlanders have been overloaded over the past couple of weeks.
He, however, believes the two wins in the last two matches have boosted confidence among the players.
“We play one of the top teams, Chicken Inn. A big game tomorrow (today), the mood is good. Two matches played and two wins is good for the mood and spirit of the team ahead of our next game against Chicken Inn. I know it is not going to be easy. Chicken Inn are one of the top teams,” De Jongh said.
He doesn’t like to talk about individual players, but so far, he has been impressed by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, defender Peter Muduhwa, Nqobizitha Masuku and in-form forward Prince Dube.
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The Dutchman said he has done some research on Chicken Inn.
“I have got information about Chicken Inn. I did some research on the internet. I have respect for Chicken Inn. They are a good team. I know we lost the first match and from the information I got, it will not be easy tomorrow, but I hope for a good result,” he said.
De Jongh says his target in the four months at Highlanders is a top-eight finish.
Chicken Inn beat Highlanders 3-0 in the reverse fixture at BF.
In their last match, they lost to Manica Diamonds in a penalty shoot-out in the Chibuku Super Cup at Luveve Stadium on Sunday on a day coach Joey Antipas rested some of his key players.
They hope to consolidate their position at the top when they face Highlanders.
“We have a massive game coming up. I hope the guys who rested will come back strong and fresh.
Highlanders and Chicken Inn games a re always thrillers,” Antipas said.
Brett Amidu, Valentine Kadonzvo, Tichaona Chipunza, Guide Goddard, Liberty Chakoroma, Sipho Ndlovu, Passmore Bernard and goalkeeper Donovan Bernard are some of the players who were rested on Sunday and should return for today’s encounter.