BY TERRY MADYAUTA
TELONE coach Rahman Gumbo said he was frustrated by his team’s failure to finish off opponents and hold onto matches they would have taken the lead as they fight to survive relegation.
The Gweru-based side currently sits on 14th position on the Premier Soccer League log table with 32 points, just one better than Herentals who occupy the relegation cut-off point.
TelOne will need to win at least three of their remaining six matches to keep their Premiership status.
Gumbo is worried by the manner in which they let victories slip through their fingers in the previous matches, conceding late into matches.
Against Black Rhinos a fortnight ago, TelOne were leading 1-0 with just five minutes remaining, but went on to concede two late goals to allow the army side to snatch maximum points.
“Against Black Rhinos, we crumbled in the final minutes of the game. It was frustrating for everyone because we were in control and looked destined to collect maximum points,” Gumbo said.
The WiFi Boys, however, recovered from that loss to beat log leaders Caps United 2-0 at the weekend, a victory that helped them move out of the relegation zone.
Gumbo reckons that his youthful side must improve on their endurance levels for them to withstand the heat in the relegation dogfight.
“Even against Caps, it was a tough fight and we were lucky to finish without conceding although the boys looked like they would crumble in the final minutes. We are fighting to remain afloat in the league and at this stage we need more endurance and focus, because there is a lot of pressure right now since all teams want to collect points. Everyone wants to end their season on a high, therefore we also can’t afford to easily fizzle out in the coming assignments.”
TelOne’s next league assignment is against Harare City, who are also in danger of being relegated.
Harare City have 35 points and will need to win at least one game to be assured of safety.
The relegation battle involves seven teams with Harare City on 12th position, only separated by seven points with Yadah FC who are at the bottom of the log standings.
Besides Yadah, who have 28 points, other teams trapped in the relegation zone are Mushowani Stars (30 points), Hwange and Herentals who both have 31 points.
Bulawayo Chiefs are also embroiled in the fight for survival as they have 34 points and sit on position 13.
Four teams will be relegated at the end of the season.