By Godknows Matarutse
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza believes Dynamos remain “a massive institution” in the country despite their recent struggles. Mapeza’s team and Dynamos prepare for a clash in the Castle Lager Premiership at Rufaro Stadium this Sunday.
The Glamour Boys endured a dreadful start to the current campaign losing five of their opening 11 matches while winning three and drawing three.
The poor start to the campaign ultimately cost coach Lloyd Mutasa his job and he was replaced by his assistant Biggie Zuze last week.
Zuze started his reign with a slender 0-1 away win over Premiership new boys Bulawayo Chiefs last weekend at Barbourfields Stadium with Quality Kangadzi scoring the solitary strike in the first half.
Due to their poor start, the Glamour Boys find themselves in eighth place on the log with 12 points and now trail log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars by a massive 17 points after 11 matches.
On the other hand, FC Platinum have started the defence of their title with decent form losing only one match out of 11.
Pure Platinum Play go into this weekend’s match in second place with 26 points and trail Ngezi Platinum by three.
But despite the two team’s contrasting form books, Mapeza is fully aware of the fact that it will not be an easy encounter for his side.
“Dynamos will remain a massive institution in Zimbabwean football and there is nothing like free fall on their part because they will always find a way back,” Mapeza told the Daily News.
“We need to give them the respect they deserve as Dynamos. We are not even looking into what has been happening at them. For us we are treating the game with the same mentality. We need to go out there on Sunday to try and get a positive result.”
Mapeza’s charges will arrive for Sunday’s match at the back of a disappointing goalless draw at home against 10-man Triangle at Mandava Stadium.
Triangle defender Arnold Chiveya was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 68th minute but Mapeza’s men could not find a way past the visitors’ backline defence.
However, the reigning Coach of the Year expects his players to bounce back from that draw and remain within touching distance of Ngezi Platinum.
“We always play to win all our matches. Of course drawing is part and parcel of the game and we have to accept it without mourning,’ Mapeza said.
“But we must also continue working hard so that we can rectify our weaknesses and win matches.
“It’s a long marathon and what is needed is to stay focused and take it each game at a time without putting ourselves under pressure. For us what is important is to keep pace with the leading pack.”
Saturday: Nichrut v Bulawayo Chiefs (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Bulawayo City (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Yadah (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Highlanders v CAPS United (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Chapungu (Maglas), Dynamos v FC Platinum (Rufaro), Triangle United v Black Rhinos (Gibbo), Mutare City Rovers v Herentals (Vengere). Daily News