By Godknows Matarutse
FC Platinum interim coach Lizwe Sweswe believes their first defeat of the season at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs last weekend should act as “a timely wake-up call” to his charges to ensure standards do not slip up in their bid to retain the title.
The reigning Castle Lager Premiership champions had started the season strongly winning five while drawing once in their opening six matches.
However, that almost perfect start was halted last weekend when they went down 2-0 to newboys Chiefs away in Bulawayo at Luveve Stadium.
The defeat pushed FC Platinum down to third place on the log table behind log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and Bulawayo giants Highlanders.
The Zvishavane-based have currently amassed 16 points, three behind Ngezi, who are on 19 points and one behind Bosso, who are on 17 points.
And reflecting on his team’s first defeat of the season, Sweswe, who has been credited for steering the team in the absence of head coach Norman Mapeza, noted with concern that their defeat was mostly a result of complacency from his charges.
“What happened (against Chiefs) was a big lesson for us. We are a team that can win and lose,” Sweswe said.
“Maybe that was a little wake-up for us where we realise it’s going to be tough to cross the line and there’s plenty more football to be played. We just have to keep working, keep focused and believe in what we have been doing since we started the season.
“I am happy it has happened early in the season and we need to quickly address it going forward. It’s important to approach all our matches with the right attitude and I am sure the defeat was a good lesson for everyone to see.”
FC Platinum travel to Rusape for their next league match against Mutare City at Vengere Stadium an assignment that is also likely to be a tricky one given the bad conditions of the playing surface.
FC Platinum usually thrives on a sleek passing game and it will be interesting to see how they would adjust to the bumpy surface at Vengere.
Harare City coach Mark Harrison, whose side salvaged a 1-1 draw there, condemned the state of the playing surface, describing it as the worst he had seen.
“That was the worst game of football match I have seen in my entire life. That pitch is not fit to host a football game. We didn’t pass the ball, they didn’t pass the ball. We were not capable of passing the ball in this pitch,” Harrison remarked.
However, Sweswe is confident his charges would adjust well to the conditions.
“We are preparing for that game just like any other match in the league. We will see when we get there. What we know is that it will not be an easy match,” he said. DailyNews