Highlanders bullish ahead of Barbourfields blockbuster with FC Platinum.
The Ngezi Platinum game was Mpofu’s first in charge, following Madinda Ndlovu’s departure. He said they are looking to cause an upset by defeating the Norman Mapeza-coached table-toppers.
Highlanders coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu believes their last two results, which saw them win against Dynamos before last week’s draw away at Ngezi Platinum, have given them momentum ahead of their tough clash with champions FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
“The boys are focused and they really want to win it. They have been training hard and are raring to go. As the technical team, we have to dig deeper to come up with a game-plan and strategy to upset FC Platinum,” Mpofu said.
“I am very positive in light of the past two games that we have played. The momentum is good, and we are improving with each game. We are ready for FC Platinum.” Highlanders still sit 14th on the league log ahead of their 14th match of season, with only three wins and six draws, having been defeated four times.
Mpofu wants to see his side begin to climb their way up the log and even a draw against FC Platinum will not be good enough for him. “We are playing the reigning champions, who have done well so far in Zimbabwe. We drew at home last year and lost away,” he said.
“It’s always exciting when we play FC Platinum, who play a passing game and we also play the same type of football, but if you look at the log standings, we
really need to start getting maximum points to move away from that zone. This is a game that we want to win at all costs. We can’t take anything other than all
the three points.”
Bosso welcome back Prince Dube, who was suspended for the game against Ngezi Platinum, but go into tomorrow’s tie missing Andrew Mbeba, who was red-carded at
Baobab last week.
Highlanders face a Pure Platinum Play side, missing key players, with Raphael Muduviwa, Ali Sadiki and William Stima nursing injuries and the Moyo twins, Kevin
and Elvis, in South Africa.
Striker Mkhokheli Dube is away in the United States on personal business, while Godknows Murwira is not part of the team. Mapeza said he is aware of the big task they have when they confront Bosso at Barbourfields.
“It’s a big game for us. In terms of statistics, we look good, but this one is a new ballgame altogether, so we just have to go there and play to the best of
our abilities and try to get maximum points,” he said while addressing a Press conference in Zvishavane.
“Lawrence Mhlanga is back, so is William Stima and Perfect Chikwende, and I hope to win. I think what we saw last week was character from the boys. They did
very well despite the fact that we only had 13 players available.”
Mapeza also revealed that they had promoted three players from their Under-19 developmental side in the Zifa Central Region Soccer League. “We have promoted three players from the Under-19s. They have been doing well and we have promoted them to integrate them into the senior team,” he said.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures
Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Manica Diamonds (Luveve), Black Rhinos v Dynamos (NSS), Harare City v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro), Chapungu v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Mandava)
Tomorrow: Caps United v Yadah (NSS), Triangle v TelOne (Gibbo), Mushowani v Herentals (Trojan), Hwange v Chicken Inn (Colliery), Highlanders v FC Platinum