Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
NEWLY appointed Highlanders coach Mark Harrison flew into Bulawayo yesterday and immediately declared his intention to stop FC Platinum’s dominance of the local game following Pure Platinum Play’s three back-to-back league titles.
He was met at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport by Highlanders vice chairman Modern Ngwenya and the club’s public relations officer Ronald Moyo.
“There is need to try and put Highlanders where they need to be, at the top, which is where they belong anyway. FC Platinum have won the league three times on the trot now and they must be knocked off the perch, it’s high time,” the Briton (59) told journalists at the Bulawayo giants’ offices.
He said he was excited to be in charge of the Highlanders dressing room, describing them as the biggest club in the country with a passionate fan base who always demand that their team posts positive results.
“I’m excited to be here and in my opinion I think Highlanders is probably the biggest club in the country. Over the last few years obviously they haven’t achieved and we have a club that is desperate for the championship and it goes without saying. The fan base is huge and I think as a coach or player you always want to play in front of a full stadium. There’s nothing worse than playing in front of an empty stadium.
“My style and philosophy won’t change, I come here and want to bring that to Highlanders which marries the club’s culture anyway which is play well, keep the ball on the ground, move it around nice and quick, be creative and entertaining. People pay their money to watch good football so we need to entertain them, try and win games and at the same time put Highlanders where they need to be, which is at the top,” said Harrison.
“FC Platinum have now won the league three titles on the bounce and I think they need to be knocked off the perch, it’s high time now. We’ve got a lot of work to do, am not saying we will win the league but that’s going to be the mentality,” he said.
The coach has high regard for Highlanders players, describing them as highly talented but said he might want to add one or two new faces. He said he won’t hesitate throwing in talented youngsters from the team’s junior teams.
“I look at the Highlanders squad and feel maybe they need a little bit of depth and that means you can’t just work with 11 or 12 players, you’ve got to work with 18 or 20 very good players because you might have injuries, suspensions, you got to be able to fill those gaps with the same quality and that’s what FC Platinum have got. They’ve very good depth. I want to have an entertaining football club that wins matches, there’s no point in just playing, in being content with number six,” said Harrison.