BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh is wary of the threat posed by FC Platinum ahead of the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final match at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
“I have respect for FC Platinum; they are organised. The club has big ambitions shown in the last two years where they had great international success. The club is professional and has quality players. The way they handle a lot of things is very professional, but I believe in my players and my selection,” De Jongh said.
He added: “I have been in charge of six matches – four wins and two draws. They were not easy games. I hope a lot of fans will come and also hope for a good result, but it is going to be a tough game. I know the opponents are also scared and have respect for us because of the results we have posted in the last six games,” De Jongh said.
Prince Dube, who was red-carded in a 1-all draw against ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga Stadium on Wednesday, is expected to lead the team against FC Platinum as he looks to continue his recent good form.
FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe is aware of the threat that in-form Highlanders pose, but said they will stand their ground in front of the multitudes of their fans.
“It will always be difficult to play against the country’s two biggest clubs in a space of four days, but this one is a cup game and there must be a winner at the end of the day. Highlanders have been in good form so it will be a difficult game, but we are FC Platinum, we will throw everything at them to come out with a win,” Sweswe said.
FC Platinum played a goalless draw with Dynamos in a league match at Rufaro on Wednesday.
Sweswe reckons that they are under pressure to retain the league title, prepare for the Caf Champions League group stages and the Chibuku Super Cup, but said they had to brace for everything at hand.
“Football is always a pressure game; the pressure has to be managed. There is the league title; we are playing in the Chibuku Super Cup and preparing for the Champions League, but we will try and give it our best against Highlanders in front of their crowd. We will push to our best,” Sweswe said.
Chibuku Super Cup fixtures
Today: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Black Rhinos (Baobab)
Tomorrow: FC Platinum v Highlanders (Babourfields), ZPC Kariba v Manica Diamonds (Vengere)