Mutasa banks on Ntouba

HARARE - Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa is banking on forward Christian Ntouba in Sunday’s Harare derby against CAPS United, hence he has given him time off to be ready for the clash.

The Cameroonian, who has now scored eight goals for the Glamour Boys, missed yesterday’s training session as he was allowed to rest so that he can be fresh for this weekend’s clash at the National Sports Stadium.

“He’s got one or two issues that he is solving but he’s one guy who has played one or too many matches in between,” Mutasa told reporters after yesterday’s training session.

“When he arrived here he had not played two matches that are closer to each other and he’s someone who needs time-out as we build up to such a big game.”

Ntouba, together with captain Ocean Mushure, have been the driving force behind DeMbare’s title charge this season.

The Glamour Boys are currently in third place on the Castle Lager Premiership log with 45 points, three behind leaders Chicken Inn.

Ntouba and Mushure’s goals have meant that DeMbare remained within touching distance of the leading pack.

The duo was on target in DeMbare’s last match when they beat struggling Yadah FC 2-0 at Rufaro Stadium last week.

“In terms of boosting their confidence I think it’s good that they go into the derby with such form; they have been doing so well and I hope they take it up there this weekend,” Mutasa said on Ntouba and Mushure.

The duo has also been linked with a move away to South Africa in recent weeks but Mutasa is not worried much since the transfer window in Mzansi closed yesterday.

“When you are at this stage of the season, you would like to finish the campaign with the players that you started the journey with but in football you are bound to have such scenarios,” he said.

“In such scenarios, it would be better to opt for continuity with the players than to go for the money.”

In their last meeting with Makepekepe at the National Sports Stadium last season, DeMbare had a 3-0 lead heading up to the 88th minute but crumbled like a deck of cards, allowing Untied to score three.

Mutasa believes his side has moved on from that episode and can now grind out results even when they are not playing well.

“After that match, we also had a similar situation against Triangle earlier this season when we were 2-0 up but they managed to come back to draw 2-2,” he said.

“Look at how we have responded up to this day; I think we are now resolute at the back and we are capable of winning matches even with a single goal; we have rectified our mistakes.”

The former DeMbare midfielder admitted that it will be a tough match on Sunday against a CAPS side that is undefeated in the last five matches.

“Dynamos versus CAPS United matches are always tough matches and it’s a derby match; everyone wants the bragging rights and we are not an exception,” he said.

“As a coach, you would want to try as much to win every match you play but in football it is not possible all the same. CAPS have played five games and haven’t tasted defeat; the same as us.

“So we are on the same wavelength in terms of performances up to this day, we hope the better team on the day will come out victorious.”

Turning to the title race, Mutasa said Sunday’s match will have a bearing on whether if they will be smiling at the end of the season.

“Obviously, these last matches have a significance of where we are going reach and the end of the season,” he said.

“We are trying as much as we can to collect points in our remaining matches so that we can.”

Tomorrow: Yadah v Bantu Rovers (NSS), Bulawayo City v ZPC Kariba (Hartsfield, 1pm), How Mine v Chicken Inn (Hartsfield, 3pm), Harare City v Tsholotsho (Rufaro, 1pm, SS), Black Rhinos v Triangle United (Rufaro, 3pm, SS)

Sunday: CAPS United v Dynamos (NSS, SS), Highlanders v Chapungu (Hartsfield), Hwange v FC Platinum (Colliery), Shabanie Mine v Ngezi Platinum (Maglas)

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