Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
NEW Highlanders FC technical manager, Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu, says a top four finish is a realistic target as he faces the daunting task of replacing club legend Madinda Ndlovu.
Addressing journalists for the first time since his appointment, Mpofu said his target was to finish in the top four.
“It’s a big opportunity for me and l will grab it with both hands. It’s not easy to fill the big shoes left by Ndlovu, but l will work hard to ensure that we give this institution the results that it wants. I learnt a lot from the former technical manager, so l will do my best to impart the knowledge I got from him into the team as we move forward,” said Mpofu.
Highlanders are in unfamiliar territory on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League table; two points above the relegation zone with 14 points from 12 games.
“It was not a good start, but we have 22 more games to play. We have sat down and we expect to do better than we did last year. To be realistic, a top four finish is possible and at this moment l believe we can make it. If you look at the table, we are just 10 points away from the leaders, which is three-and-a-half games. It is even possible to win the league, but well let’s put a target that is realistic, which is a top four finish. That, however, is not a limit to us,” he said.
Rahman Gumbo and Eddie May each won two titles with teams initially assembled by Ndlovu in 2007, while Methembe Ndlovu also benefited from the “Chosen One’s knack for building championship teams. Mpofu, however, said he was not under pressure to live up to that trend.
Ndlovu recommended that Highlanders give Mpofu the vacant coaching job until the end of the season as he was confident his former assistant could take the club to greater heights.
The club duly obliged to Ndlovu’s call to elevate Mpofu, who was his first assistant, while Bekithemba Ndlovu is now the first assistant in the new technical set up.
Mpofu starts his new role with a tricky encounter against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium in Mhondoro tomorrow.
Mpofu was previously in charge of then Southern Region Division One side Railstars in 2011 and he also coached Shabanie Mine in 2017 and had a stint with Bantu Rovers as well as Chicken Inn. — @innocentskizoe