By Tadious Manyepo
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa has described their Castle Lager Premiership duel against Bulawayo Chiefs at Rufaro today as a must-win as his side seek to move off the awkward position they are occupying on the log standings.
The two relegation-haunted clubs face off exactly three days after they met at the same venue in the Chibuku Super Cup first round tie with Dynamos winning that encounter courtesy of a Tawanda Macheka solitary goal in the second half.
DeMbare also won the reverse league tie 1-0 at Barbourfields.
But both clubs have since put behind events of that game as they have shifted their attention to the league where they are fighting for their dear lives in the top-flight.
They have both accumulated 30 points with Bulawayo City sitting on 12th place, two above their opponents due to a superior goal difference.
But, crucially the pair are only two points off the drop zone and their positions will be rendered even more precarious if Nichrut pick up points against Chapungu while either of them drop points.
Even a draw will not be healthy for either side and Mutasa knows the task will not be easy but remained adamant his charges would prevail.
“It’s not an easy situation where we find ourselves in, it’s really bad but we have to fight on our own to come out of the mud.
“We have not been ourselves this season as we have just failed to come to the party. We are Dynamos and we know where we are supposed to be at the moment.
“But look we have failed dismally to replicate our form which saw us taking the fight for the championship to the last day of the season,” Mutasa said.
Bulawayo Chiefs had built an amazing profile for themselves as they floored such giants like FC Platinum, Ngezi and Highlanders but they will need some extra work if they are to beat Dynamos, whom they have failed to out-gun twice in matches which they largely dominated in terms of possession.
Mutasa believes the fact that the Bulawayo side have failed to breach his team in two of their previous meetings including last Saturday, will provide his players with some extra belief.
“We face Bulawayo Chiefs exactly three days after we beat them in the Chibuku Super Cup first round at the same venue.
“The fact that we beat them in the Chibuku Cup is some kind of motivation as we face them in the league.
“They played well in the match last Saturday but we played our cards rightly and beat them. But, this is a different game, a different competition and we have to be at our level best.
“They are not a bad team, they have beaten some giants before but they have failed to find a way past us and we should maintain that.
“The position we are at the moment makes life difficult for us, no doubt about that and we are sorry for our stakeholders.
“But this is the time that we have to show that we are Dynamos. We will show the much-needed character to survive the chop. We might try to evade the truth but the fact is we are not in a good position but Dynamos cannot talk of relegation.”
Mutasa was in charge when Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services outfit WhaWha were demoted from the Premiership some few years ago and acknowledged that Dynamos would need no favours to survive relegation as they were capable of holding their own.
“We respect all the teams which we are yet to play against but, at this point, we just have to show that we are Dynamos.
“We cannot be seen trying to rely on other results to go our way, we have our destiny in our own hands and because we are Dynamos we will pull through.
“The players need not any extra motivation . . . they know what it now means. They are geared for the fights starting with the game against Bulawayo Chiefs,”
With just seven games to play before the season comes to a close, Mutasa also noted the significance of the DeMbare supporters in lifting his side out of their gloom and he reiterated his passionate pleas for them to cheer their team out of their dire situation.
While DeMbare fight for their survival, elsewhere title-chasing Ngezi Platinum Stars have been warned against expecting any favours from CAPS United when the Green Machine visit Baobab in a match that could derail the Mhondoro team’s dream.
With Tonderai Ndiraya’s men needing nothing short of victory in the match to keep pace with leaders FC Platinum, CAPS coach Lloyd Chitembwe has warned their opponents that they won’t have it on a silver platter.
Ngezi are five points adrift of FC Platinum and they could make life more difficult for themselves if they drop points against Makepekepe more so should the leaders pick points in their cagey affair against plucky Triangle at Gibbo.
CAPS United have always made life tough for title contenders as they have previously spoilt it for Harare City (2013) and ZPC Kariba (2014) when both teams were looking to wrap up the crown.
And with CAPS United themselves gunning for a top four finish, Ngezi will have to be at their best if they are to collect maximum points.
“Obviously, the game against Ngezi Platinum will not be easy but we will fight for the points,” said Chitembwe.
“They are a top team fighting for the championship but we don’t look at all that. We have our own objectives as a team and we will fight to take all the points home.
“We are a very competitive team and we ought to compete”.
Mutare City v ZPC Kariba (Vengere)
Chicken Inn v Chapungu (Luveve)
Nichrut v Harare City (Ascot)
Herentals v Black Rhinos (NSS)
Shabanie v Bulawayo City (Maglas)
Ngezi Platinum v CAPS United (Baobab)
Triangle v FC Platinum (Gibbo)
Highlanders v Yadah (B/F)
Dynamos v Bulawayo Chiefs (Rufaro). The Herald