Mapeza staying grounded despite perfect start

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza insists he is not getting carried away just yet despite his team’s perfect start to the 2017 Castle Premiership season.

The platinum miners thrust themselves among favourites to wrestle the championship from CAPS United after starting their season with two straight wins.

Mapeza’s charges opened their campaign with an away 0-1 victory over Dynamos a fortnight ago before following it up with a 3-2 win against Bantu Rovers last weekend to go second on the log table behind leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars who boast of superior goal difference.

Mapeza said, while winning the league title is their ultimate target it is still early days yet to entertain that subject.

“Obviously, as a coach you always want to win everything but, of course, it’s still too early to talk about winning the championship,” Mapeza said.

“It’s a long marathon and surely one cannot talk of winning the championship after winning two matches. For us, this is a good foundation which we need to build on going forward.

“We have started well and we need to keep working hard. We need to go game by game. Premier League; everybody knows it’s difficult and it’s a long way to go.

“We have had a really good start and in football anything can happen, you always hope to be there. We work match by match and I don’t want to look that far ahead as yet.

Mapeza said there are still a lot of grey areas that his team still needs to work on before they can become a complete side while dismissing reports that he was handed an ultimatum to lift the title this season or risk being sacked.

“There are so many things that we need to work on like our defending, I thought we failed to do things properly. Strikers were missing chances but they scored whereas the defenders failed to do their job,” Mapeza said.

“If we can improve on our marking, I think we can dream of achieving more. Also our execution needs to improve because the number of chances that we have created and the number of goals that we have scored does not tally.”

He added: “I know nothing about the ultimatum; I only read it in the newspapers.”

FC Platinum’s scheduled league match against Chicken Inn at the weekend has since been postponed as the platinum miners face Highlanders in the Independence Cup semi-final at Barbourfields on Sunday.

Other PSL matches involving Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United have also been postponed to allow them to participate in the Uhuru semi-finals scheduled for Sunday.

But other league matches will go ahead as scheduled with Shabanie Mine hosting Bulawayo City at Maglas Stadium on Friday. The Chinda Boys have had a bright start to the season picking four points in their opening two matches following a draw against CAPS and a win over Bosso.

Yadah travel to Beitbridge on Friday for a date against Tsholotsho at Dulivhadzimu while Ngezi Platinum Stars host How Mine in a potentially explosive encounter on Saturday at Baobab Stadium, hoping to maintain their perfect start to the season.

Fixtures:

Friday: Shabanie Mine v Bulawayo City (Maglas Stadium), Tsholotsho v Yadah FC (Dulivhadzimo Stadium)

Saturday: Ngezi Platinum v How Mine (Baobab Stadium), Chapungu v Hwange (Ascot Stadium)

Monday: Bantu Rovers v Triangle United (Luveve Stadium)

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