HIGHLANDERS coach Kelvin Kaindu is confident that his side has re-energised enough to mount a serious challenge for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title.

League games resume this weekend following a two-week break that paved the way for international matches.

The break came at a time when Bosso  had lost their way in the race for the title, as they remained winless in five consecutive matches where they drew four and lost one.

That poor run of form saw them slumping down the log table to fourth position with 22 points, six behind race leaders Manica Diamonds.

And as Highlanders prepare to host this season’s surprise package Bikita Minerals at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday, Kaindu believes that the break has given his boys time to refresh and reset.

Injuries were also mounting on Highlanders, a factor that the Zambian gaffer had previously attributed to the team’s inconsistent perfomances.

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Thus, the break also came as a blessing in disguise as it afforded players such as Godfrey Makaruse, Gillian Nyathi and striker Brighton “MaNinja” Ncube, who were injured, time to recuperate.

“May was not a good month for us,” Kaindu said.

“Hopefully, the break will give us an advantage and I am sure it has in terms of players recovering. We dropped several points because of the games that we drew, but it’s a phase that has passed.

“We need to get back on track. From what we have been seeing, in terms of reaction and how everybody is responding in training, the competition is there. We are hoping that it replicates on match day.”

While there is more positive news from the Highlanders treatment room, leftback Archford Faira will miss the Sunday tie after he was given a bereavement leave to mourn his grandfather, who was buried this week.

“In terms of our preparations after our break, we used it to our advantage for the players who had sustained injuries in the last games and missed even the last game that we played against GreenFuel. But we have had a tremendous recovery in most of them. Maybe only one may not be available for selection,” Kaindu said.

“Godfrey (Makaruse), Gillian (Nyathi) and MaNinja (Brighton Ncube) are back. The latter showed a lot of aggression and after we did our fitness test, they showed that they are ready to play, apart from one player (Faira).”

Defender Andrew Mbeba is expected to make a return to the team after his sojourn with the national team last week in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Tower, as Mbeba is affectionately known in football cirlces, played the whole match in the 2-0 defeat to Lesotho and was suspended in the 3-1 loss to South Africa.

Log leaders Manica Diamonds also welcome back gaffer Jairosi Tapera when they travel to Yadah tomorrow looking to stretch their unbeaten run to eleven games.

Tapera was in charge of the Warriors in South Africa, and his technical bench had Ngezi Platinum coach Takesure Chiragwi, whose side hosts Chicken Inn, and Saul Chaminuka, who will be looking to lead his GreenFuel side past basement side Hwange.

In other matches, giants Dynamos host ZPC Kariba at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday as coach Genesis Mangombe continues to be under the spotlight, with Caps United hitting the road to Gweru for a clash with TelOne.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matchday 15 fixtures

Tomorrow: Yadah vs Manica (The Heart), Bulawayo Chiefs vs FC Platinum (Luveve), Simba Bhora vs Arenel (Wadzanayi), Ngezi Platinum Stars vs Chicken Inn (Baobab).

Sunday: Hwange vs GreenFuel (Colliery), Highlanders vs Bikita Minerals (Barbourfields), Dynamos vs ZPC Kariba (Rufaro), TelOne vs Caps United (Bata), Chegutu Pirates vs Herentals (Baobab)