By Ngqwele Dube
HIGHLANDERS will be hoping to improve their record at Barbourfields Stadium this season when they take on How Mine this afternoon in what is billed to be an exciting Castle Lager Premiership derby.
Bosso, who were last active three weeks ago have faltered at Emagumeni albeit maintaining a perfect record on the road as they have won all their three matches away from home.
Highlanders have played three matches at Hwange, Ngezi Platinum and Dynamos in which they have bagged all the three points on 3-0, 4-1 and 2-0 scorelines, respectively. However, at BF Bosso have lost to FC Platinum 2-1, and notched one-all draws against Bulawayo City and Harare City.
Amahlolanyama, as Bosso are also known, managed to beat Tsholotsho (2-1) and Chapungu (1-0) in matches they scrapped through, failing to exhibit the exciting type of play they have shown when playing away.
Although Highlanders will be the away team, they will have the “luxury’’ of playing at Barbourfields as it is the only stadium that can securely accommodate their multitude of fans in the city.
Goalkeepers coach, Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu said with the backing of supporters they can replicate their away form, urging fans to turn the stadium into a hostile territory for their opponents. Tsano said on the occasions they are playing away they have received massive backing from fans which he felt was lacking at Emagumeni.
“I am appealing to our supporters to make the atmosphere at BF hostile for our opponents and to cheer on the players from the first whistle until the final minute,’’ said Zulu.
“When we have scored more goals away, it is because we have had marvellous support from the fans who have been unwavering, cheering us from the beginning until the end of the match and I believe that if fans do that at Barbourfields they can make their presence felt as the 12th man.”
Zulu said Highlanders fans should take a leaf from Dynamos’ supporters who make “loud’’ noise at the Mpilo end irrespective of their form. The match is certain to prove entertaining because of the two sides’ attacking type of play. Under Kelvin Kaindu, How Mine have mastered the passing game although sometimes results have been elusive.
Kaindu, a firm believer in the attacking game, will be eager to get one over his former team and collect maximum points. Last week Kaindu expressed frustration at losing points and being far behind the leading pack on the log standings despite having good arsenal in his squad.
“I believe we have everything we need in terms of personnel but sometimes we have not collected points despite having played well. We would not want to be far behind the leading teams and we have to start picking the points,” said Kaindu, a former Highlanders player and coach, also assisted by another former Bosso son, Bekithemba Ndlovu.
On today’s match, Kaindu said How Mine tend to raise their game when facing big teams adding their approach has been good. “Our approach has been good when playing top teams and even the last game against Tsholotsho we had a positive attitude. I hope we maintain that positive approach to the game,” he said.
Highlanders have a clean bill of health although Bruce Kangwa and King Nadolo were set to be assessed yesterday after arriving from national duty while How Mine will be missing the services of Nelson Tachi, Timothy January and Thembani Masuku.
Today: Dynamos v Ngezi (Rufaro), How Mine v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Border Strikers v Chapungu (Dulivhadzimu), Triangle United v Hwange (Gibbo), Mutare City v Caps United (Sakubva). Sunday News