Akbay wants season double
HIGHLANDERS continue to set themselves ambitious targets with the technical team yesterday saying they were now eyeing a league and cup double ahead of their Chibuku Super Cup first round duel with Mutare City at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.
Bosso seem not perturbed by threats from Mutare City who have publicly declared that they are coming to Bulawayo for a double over Amahlolanyama. Instead Bosso coach Erol Akbay said they were looking at three or four goals past the visitors.
“I want both (the cup and the league title), why both because this cup tournament starts over the weekend while the league is still running that means if you can take both then you have to take both and I have to,” said a confident Akbay.
Highlanders are six points behind leaders FC Platinum with seven matches before the season wraps up. Highlanders have three away matches, to Harare City, Chapungu and FC Platinum while the Midlands side will go to Border Strikers, Harare City, Chapungu and Tsholotsho.
Meanwhile, Akbay chose to be sarcastic about Mutare City’s threats of a double when they come to Emagumeni tomorrow.
“Yes, of course, if you beat a big team two times that means you can do everything but what we have to do is focus more on our game and we have to play very effectively. In the last game against them we had a problem with their two strikers and now we have two defenders who are doing very good things and I think there is no problem this time. All that we have to do is to score three or four times,” said Akbay.
Highlanders are likely to unleash the same line-up that started against Dynamos last Sunday including Allan Gahadzikwa who seemed overwhelmed by the stage last week.
The former Caps United midfielder struggled with the ball while his marking was a disaster but on a good day, the former Soccer Star of the Year finalist can be a thorn in the flesh for many an opposition.
The twin young strikers, Nhlanhla Ndlovu and Prince Dube while not finding the target last week, are expected to once again lead the Bosso strikeforce.
The Mutare defence needs to get a brief from Dynamos’ Dominic Mukandi on Dube meanness in that area.
With Benson Phiri still out injured, Tendai Ngulube will keep his right back position while Honest Moyo takes care of business on the left.
“Benson is still out and we really miss him but we have an equally good replacement even though Tendai is more effective when attacking because he is a natural midfielder,” said Akbay.
Hard working wing midfielder Rahman Kutsanzira and Simon Munawa will operate from the wings with skipper Erick Mudzingwa, who has never put a foot wrong since being moved to the holding midfield role, once again expected to lead from that area.
Highlanders need to worry about Mutare City’s Kudakwashe Gurure and the stout Caleb Masocha who gave club captain Felix Chindungwe anxious moments in that 2-1 league win.
Veteran Russel Madamombe is another player that the Bosso midfield needs to keep an eagle’s eye on. He has the agility, the body and can pack booming shots from outside the box.
In the event of a stalemate after 90 minutes, the match will go straight into the dreaded shootouts.
“We have good goalkeepers, we are not worried,” Akbay jokingly said when asked if they had practiced shootouts.