FC Platinum out to extend unbeaten run

24 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
FC Platinum out to extend unbeaten run MORE THAN SATISFIED. . . FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is thrilled with how his charges have been going about their business

The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi

Senior Sports Reporter

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza wants his charges to remain focused as they go out to extend their 14-match unbeaten run in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League against relegation fighters Bulawayo City at Mandava this afternoon.

The platinum miners, who are also drawing closer to a record-equalling fourth league title, have been in top form of late and have not tasted defeat in their last 14 league outings.  

This has given them a healthy seven points cushion at the top of the table, going into the last seven games of the season and Mapeza is thrilled with how his charges have been going about their business.

“We don’t usually put our players under pressure to perform. It’s normal that you have to perform. We can’t go week in and week out demanding players to perform,” he said.

“They know what is at stake and where we are in terms of our position on the log table. They also know what is needed for us to do in terms of the remaining seven games.

“So what is important is for us to go out there with the same mentality. We have been playing our football without any pressure.

“I know as a coach that at the end of the day in a game of football there are three results. But what is important is to push for that which makes us happy. Everybody knows our position and our objective. We know what we want to achieve at the end of the day.” 

The platinum miners have done extremely well at home this season. They have played 13 league games at home and won 10, drew twice and lost once. Their only loss at Mandava came at the hands of rivals Ngezi Platinum Stars, who triumphed 1-0.

The only other teams to get a point at Mandava so far this year are giants Dynamos, who forced a goalless draw, and Black Rhinos in their 1-1 stalemate.  

The Zvishavane-based side have their morale boosted after they beat giants Dynamos in the Chibuku Super Cup quarterfinals last week to keep their dream of league and cup double alive. Mapeza has been doing everything possible to keep his players well-conditioned for the task.

“We were working much on trying to reduce the load of our training sessions because if you can recall we played our game against Dynamos last Sunday and we had a day of rest.

“So what is important with our preparations was trying not to overload the guys after the travelling and the game against Dynamos, which was difficult. But now our focus is on the Bulawayo City game, which is not going to be easy for us,” said Mapeza.

FC Platinum lead the table with 58 points, eight ahead of second placed Dynamos. They have experienced contrasting fortunes with Bulawayo City.

With seven games left, Bulawayo City who are third from the bottom with 24 points. They are four points from the position of safety.

“These are two clubs with different objectives,” said Mapeza.

“Bulawayo City, I am sure everybody knows they are fighting to stay in the league and for us, we are trying to push and maintain our place on the log.

“So it’s not going to be easy game for us but we have been talking to the boys. What is important now is to stay focused, remain humble, and always try to have this positive mentality because these remaining games are not going to be easy at all.”

Bulawayo City have remained hopeful and their coach Farai Tawachera is looking forward to a good game against the champions. They had a bye last weekend since they were not part of the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals.

“To be honest, we’re praying to get a positive result. It won’t be an easy game playing the champions who are going through a good run, but we believe in our abilities.

“Of late we’ve been losing but if you look at those matches that we lost, our attitude has been fantastic. That we play FC Platinum at resumption of the league games is a blessing in the sense that we go there as underdogs, with little pressure and the match on its own is self-motivating to players.

“The other thing motivating us is that we’re not far-away from other teams with 21 points to play for also gives us hope to keep fighting,” Tawachera said.


Today: ZPC Kariba v Black Rhinos (Nyamhunga, 1pm), Cranborne Bullets v Highlanders (Vengere), FC Platinum v Bulawayo City (Mandava), Yadah v CAPS Utd (NSS), Chicken Inn v Whawha (Luveve), Tenax v Harare City (Sakubva)

Tomorrow: Dynamos v Ngezi Platinum Stars (NSS), Bulawayo Chiefs v Manica Diamonds (Luveve), Triangle v Herentals (Gibbo)

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