By Ricky Zililo
Two-years after succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against Hwange at the Colliery Stadium, Highlanders return to the coal mining town hoping to end a four-match Castle Lager Premiership winless streak that has left them staring at relegation.
Highlanders, then coached by Dutchman Erol Akbay, now Ngezi Platinum Stars coach, went on to finish sixth, while Hwange were relegated.
This time around the two sides meet at a time when they are both fighting for survival.
Highlanders are two points and two places above the relegation zone in 13th place with 24 points from 21 games, while Hwange are 11th with 26 points from 22 outings.
Both teams have been struggling, with the coalminers on an eight-match winless run, comprising six draws and two defeats.
The two teams deadlocked 0-0 in the reverse fixture at Barbourfields Stadium.
Highlanders coach, Mandla Mpofu, is confident of collecting maximum points against Hwange.
“What happens after those three games is normal in any organisation. You can reach targets and you can fail to reach targets, but at this moment we cannot get six points. We can possibly get four and that’s the objective at the moment. We want go to Hwange and get three points, no two ways about it. Our approach is not to lose because we need those three points like yesterday,” said Mpofu.
“There were positives to our game against Mushowani and as a coach l would have loved to continue from that game. Now we have to psyche up the players to think positively going forward.
“On paper and even if we go back in history, Highlanders have always gone to Hwange and collected points. We have won games there by big margins, but then this season many teams have gone there and struggled. It’s not an easy place to go to considering the weather, it’s very hot. But we are positive that we will win against Hwange even though we acknowledge that it is a difficult place to go to and get points,” said Mpofu. The Chronicle