Mapeza target City scalp

HARARE - After a rather slow start to the 2015 Castle Premiership season, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is hoping for a change in fortunes when they face Harare City in a rescheduled tie at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.

Despite having depth in their ranks, Mapeza’s men are yet to find the form that saw them finish fourth last season having recorded one win, a draw and two defeats in their opening four matches.

That lacklustre show in the league campaign has left FC Platinum in an unfamiliar 10th position on the log table. 

The platinum miners had an early exist in the African Confederation Cup following a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Tanzanian side Young Africans and it is against this background that Mapeza feels they need to start picking up maximum points.

Mapeza is expecting a spirited response from his players when they engage tricky City, who also endured an indifferent start to the season.

“Of course, we did not have one of our best starts to the season but we that’s football,” Mapeza told the Daily News.

“The important thing is how we are going to respond. I think we need to start picking up maximum points. It’s not like we are playing badly but sometimes it’s a matter of luck.

“Again it’s still early days to start panicking. It’s still early days yet. In football anything can happen and we are working hard to discover our form. The good thing is there is a lot of commitment and determination from the players.”

The Zvishavane-based side featured in the Uhuru Cup final against Dynamos at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday in a game which was called off in the 65th minute due to poor lighting.

The Glamour Boys were leading the match 1-0 courtesy of a Ronald Chitiyo first half strike.

Mapeza said his side will be without the services of influential skipper Thabani Kamusoko, who limped off during Saturday’s match but welcomes back forwards Donald Ngoma and Walter Musona who were out injured.

“Fixtures are coming thick and fast so there is need to juggle around carefully with the players,” added Mapeza.

“Kamusoko has been ruled out for about six weeks after he picked injury against Dynamos. We have good replacements though. We also have some players who have recovered from injuries.

“We are looking forward to field a strong team capable of giving us positive results.”

On the other side Harare City, who made almost a complete overhaul of the team from the technical bench downwards, have also not enjoyed a good start.

After a disappointing 2014 season, City had plunged into the transfer market to reinforce their squad after appointing a star-studded technical team led by former CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro.

The Sunshine Boys have so far managed just five points from a possible 12 with one win, one loss and two draws recorded in their first four matches.

In another rescheduled match Chapungu face ZPC Kariba at Ascot Stadium this afternoon.

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