CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo fears the log leaders could be heading towards another banana skin as they travel to TelOne tomorrow for what promises to be a tough match against the relegation strugglers.
BY HENRY MHARA
After watching his side struggle against Herentals, who are also fighting to stay up, Dodo knows all too well the dangers that are presented by clubs fighting for survival at the other end of the table.
The log leaders were lucky to get away with a point on Wednesday as they had to come from behind to force a 1-1 draw.
“Playing these relegation threatened teams is very difficult. They are unpredictable, and they have more or less the same pressure like the one that we have,” Dodo said. “They will do anything to grind a result. What we need to do is to stamp authority in the game, to show why we are at the top of the standings.”
TelOne will be desperate to get something out of this match, but Caps will be hoping to crush their hopes of a Premier Soccer League survival.
United could start this match on second position if current second placed side FC Platinum beat Bulawayo Chiefs at Mandava this afternoon.
With TelOne having avoided defeats against some of the big boys including Dynamos and FC Platinum in recent times, Dodo knows he cannot overlook the Rahman Gumbo-coached side.
“We need to keep working hard; we are still there at the top. As much as the gap has been reduced, we are still at the top and we need to still keep our focus. We are going to TelOne and it’s a must win game for us. We must make sure that we go and win there. But truly speaking, teams at the bottom of the log are difficult to play, but we will need to grind a result,” Dodo said.
The Green Machine has picked just one point in their last two matches, something Dodo has blamed on injuries to key players.
Defender Method Mwanjale has been ruled out for the season with an injury while goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga and Kudzi Nyamupfukudza did not feature last time out. Dominic Mukandi is serving suspension.
“I don’t want to be a cry baby but I have some injured players who have been playing a big part in the team and with where the season is, it’s difficult because the games are coming thick and fast.
There are a lot of things that will happen to the dynamics of the team when you make those adjustments so the injuries have played a big part in the way we are playing. But we can regroup and get the results that we want.”
Gumbo refused to talk to the media on Thursday after watching his side surrender a goal lead to lose 2-1 to Rhinos. It appears the former Warriors gaffer is beginning to crack under pressure as he struggles to save his team which currently sit on 16th position and fast running out of games.
They have struggled for positive results of late, having won just once in their last five matches, form that is not good enough at this stage of the season to avoid relegation.
Matchday 29 fixtures
Today: Ngezi v Manica Diamonds (Baobab), FC Platinum v Bulawayo Chiefs (Mandava), Herentals v Harare City (NSS)
Tomorrow: Dynamos v Highlanders (Rufaro), Yadah v Chapungu (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Black Rhinos (Nyamhunga), Hwange v Mushowani (Colliery), TelOne v Caps (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Triangle (postponed)