Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
WITH odds heavily staked against his charges, Highlanders coach Mandla Mpofu faces champions and log leaders FC Platinum hoping to execute their downfall in tomorrow’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium.
Pure Platinum Play have been bossing the Bulawayo giants home and away in past seasons, with the best results Bosso have registered being a draw, and Mpofu has a perfect chance to halt that dominance.
“We are playing the reigning champions, they have done well so far. We got a point at home last year and lost to them away. It has always been an exciting game against FC Platinum, they play a passing game, so do we, but if you look at the log standings, you will see that we need to start getting maximum points as much as possible to move away from the relegation zone,” said Mpofu at a media briefing.
He said they will accept nothing other than maximum points, revealing that his players are fully focused and raring to go.
“It’s a game that we want to win at all costs. We can’t take anything besides three points and the boys are focused, they want to win it like yesterday and are training hard. It’s going to be an exciting game and as the technical team we will dig even deeper to come up with a game plan that will make sure we get maximum points,” he said.
Bosso go into tomorrow’s game without their usual right backs who are carrying injuries, with stand -in right-back Andrew Mbeba out of the tie after getting a red card last week against Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Mpofu said they made some tactical changes following Mbeba’s expulsion that saw them pulling Mbekezeli Sibanda from the attacking left wing into left-back, while another youth international Mbongeni Ndlovu switched to the central defence to partner Tendai Ndlovu, while Peter Muduhwa moved into the right-back role.
For tomorrow’s encounter, Mpofu said they were confident of coming up with the right combination that will likely see Charlton Siamalonga or Vincent Moyo being thrown into the fray.
“We will get the right combination by Sunday to make sure we field a very solid defence. The most important thing is preparation. I think we are doing very well in that regard. We had players that were not there last week. Remember Ray Lunga was injured, while Prince Dube was on suspension. I am glad that Prince is back and Lunga has a 50/50 chance of playing; he might have to pass a late fitness test,” he said.
The encounter is set to provide fans with a football spectacle as the two teams have unique and exciting styles of play, while their technical teams have shrewd mentors with an amazing ability to read the game.