Akbay backs misfiring Mutuma

HARARE - Highlanders coach Erol Akbay has backed striker Roderick Mutuma to rediscover his scoring touch in today’s Castle Premiership tie against Tsholotsho at Dulivhadzimu Stadium in Beitbridge.

Mutuma is yet to hit the back of the net for Bosso in their opening three matches with pressure beginning to mount on the fickle former Dynamos striker on whether he will fill the bill at the Bulawayo giants.

The player himself is adamant, however, that he will emulate the same form that saw him win the Golden Boot  back in 2011.

Akbay said while strikers are generally judged by their goal-scoring output, it would be, however, naive to suggest that Mutuma is struggling to find his feet.

“I am confident Mutuma will soon find his scoring touch. It is important not to put him under too much pressure at this point in time.

“I was going to be worried if he was not performing well but at this stage he is playing well and even creating chances for other players and for me that’s what is important. All we want is to win but who scores doesn’t matter.

“Mutuma is not struggling at all and it’s only a matter of time before he starts banging in the goals.”

The 29-year-old forward, had a largely forgettable 2016 season with the Glamour Boys where he was often in and out of the team while a section of the club accused him of not taking his game seriously and was part of a group of senior players alleged to have been abusing alcohol.

Mutuma was eventually off-loaded by DeMbare coach Lloyd Mutasa alongside the likes of Sydney Linyama, Stephen Alimenda and Jacob Muzokomba at the end of last season before signing for the Glamour Boys’ biggest rivals.

On their game against Tsholotsho this afternoon, Akbay said: “This is a new game and we are looking forward to it. I think against ZPC Kariba it was a difficult match but what was important is that we managed to collect maximum points.  

“As Highlanders, we always play to win every game and there is no difference when we face Tsholotsho tomorrow (today). We are definitely going for maximum points. The boys are focused. I believe we will continue with the same mentality.”

The Dutch coach, however, reckons that it will not be an easy match.

“It’s obviously not going to be easy for us. Tsholostho are a good team and I have watched them play twice this season,” said Akbay.

“They can hurt anyone on their day and we are taking them seriously there is no room for complacency. Their last draw against reigning champions away from home speaks volumes of what they are capable of doing. So yes, we are expecting a tough match.”

Tsholotsho coach Farai Tawechera is banking on support from their newly-found home in Beitbridge to create an intimidating atmosphere for visiting teams as they seek to improve from last season which saw them survive relegation right on the last day.

Tsholotsho adopted Dulivhadzimu Stadium at the start of the season for their home matches in this current campaign and are yet to lose a game having managed draws against Shabanie Mine and Yadah FC.

Iziqholo zeZhwane have so far collected four points from their opening matches of the season.

And following a 1-1 draw against reigning league champions CAPS United in their last match, Tawechera is upbeat ahead of the Bosso clash today.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better place, the people of Beitbridge have welcomed us with both hands,” Tawechera told the Daily News.

“It feels good playing before your own fans. We have never experienced that love before, it’s something special to us and we are very grateful. Beitbridge is a friendly town and people there have rallied behind us something that I think will give life to our campaign.”

In today’s other games, Harare City clash with in-form Bulawayo City at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, looking to register their first win of the season.

Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum host struggling Triangle at Maglas.

Taurai Mangwiro has an uphill task of turning around the fortunes at the Sugar Sugar Boys having started the season with two defeats and managing only two draws and sit above Chapungu who anchor the log with only two points from a possible 12.

Yadah FC will be looking to give new Chapungu coach Rodwell Dhlakama a baptism of fire when the two sides clash at Ascot today.

Sunday Chidzambwa’s stuttering ZPC Kariba host former CAPS United defender Takesure Chiragwi’s Shabanie Mine at Nyamhunga.

Premiership returnees Bantu Rovers play Hwange at Luveve, while in a pick of the midweek fixtures Ngezi Platinum host league champions CAPS United at Baobab Stadium in Ngezi.

PSL Fixtures

Today: Harare City v Bulawayo City (NSS), Ngezi Platinum Stars v CAPS United (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), Tsholotsho v Highlanders (Dulivhadzimu), FC Platinum v Triangle (Maglas), Chapungu v Yadah (Ascot), Bantu Rovers v Hwange (Luveve)

Tomorrow: Chicken Inn v Black Rhinos (Luveve), Dynamos v How Mine (NSS)

Comments (1)

Mutuma ihuni, danda zvaro.

Murape C. Murape - 26 April 2017

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