Cha­pungu send out warn­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo

CHA­PUNGU have warned Cas­tle Lager Pre­mier Soc­cer League championship chas­ing sides FC Plat­inum, Caps United and High­landers to expect dif­fi­cult games when they visit As­cot Sta­dium in Gweru.

John Nyikadzino, Cha­pungu’s head coach, said his team is tar­get­ing a top eight fin­ish and they have to win all their re­main­ing matches to re­alise that goal. The Air Force of Zim­babwe side is presently 12th on the league ta­ble with 31 points.

Third-placed High­landers visit As­cot Sta­dium to­mor­row, with log lead­ers FC Plat­inum, who beat the air­men 1-0 in the first leg at Man­dava in Zvisha­vane, ex­pected at As­cot on Week 28, while sec­ond-placed Caps United will play their fi­nal game of the sea­son in Gweru.

Nyikadzino vowed that they would halt High­landers’ five-game un­beaten run.

“Our aim is to fin­ish in a re­spectable po­si­tion and what is needed is for us to win our re­main­ing matches. We just have to cap­i­talise on home ad­van­tage and pre­pare in a man­ner that will en­sure that we col­lect max­i­mum points in our three home games. I know we will play the championship favourites in those games, and play­ing against such sides mo­ti­vates the play­ers as they put in ex­tra ef­fort. All our home games are against dif­fi­cult and for­mi­da­ble sides, but we are ready for them, start­ing against High­landers,” said Nyikadzino.

He re­ported a clean bill of health in his camp and will pin his hopes on vet­eran for­ward Philip Marufu, Allen Tavar­wisa and Pa­trick Khum­bula.

Xolani Ncube, Hil­lary Mu­go­niwa, Tafadzwa Mombeshora and Jameson Mukombwe can also en­sure Cha­pun­gug col­lect max­i­mum points if theyy are in form.

How­ever, High­landers have been in top form and have the ad­van­tage of a huge vo­cif­er­ous fan base all over the coun­try.

Bosso col­lected 15 points from their last five league games and their sup­port­ers, who be­lieve this could be their year, are likely to em­bark on colour­ful road shows, from Bu­l­awayo and Harare, to paint Gweru black and white.

But Nyikadzino said his play­ers would not be in­tim­i­dated by High­landers’ sup­port­ers.

“I’ve a group of fight­ers, who are will­ing to break a leg for vic­tory. We re­spect High­landers, but we’re not afraid of them. Ac­tu­ally we don’t care about what’s hap­pen­ing on their side as we’re fo­cus­ing on col­lect­ing max­i­mum points,” said Nyikadzino.

On High­landers’ in­ten­tion of train­ing at the match venue, Nyikadzino said: “We’re con­cen­trat­ing on get­ting max­i­mum points and what­ever High­landers do doesn’t con­cern us. We will work on a game plan that will aid us to­wards col­lect­ing max­i­mum points and won’t be dis­tracted by petty is­sues.”

High­lande r s travel to Gweru bub­bling with con­fi­dence and will be hop­ing goal­keeper Ariel Sibanda, de­fend­ers Peter Muduhwa and Tendai Ndlovu, vice-cap­tain Erick Mudz­ingwa and vet­eran striker Ralph Matema can guide them to glory like in the pre­vi­ous five games. Ta­ble — @ZililoR

John Nyikadzino

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