Lulu tips City to survive

HARARE - Bulawayo City coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu is confident his side will survive relegation from the Castle Lager Premiership despite sitting just one point above the drop zone.

Amakhosi dropped to 15th place on the log with 35 points following a disappointing 2-0 loss to fellow strugglers Yadah FC at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.

City were so disappointing that Yadah goalkeeper Samuel Mafukidze was barely tested in the entire 90 minutes.

At the other end, Amakhosi goalkeeper Liberty Chivara gifted the home side the opener after only 12 minutes when he allowed a harmless Munyaradzi Chiwara shot to trickle in without making any effort to make a save.

Yadah got their second shortly before halftime when City midfielder Sipho Nldovu needlessly shoved Johannes Sibanda inside the box to concede a penalty kick.

Moses Demera sent Chivara the wrong way from the spot and City never recovered in the second half.

Mpofu’s side will need to vastly improve in the remaining three games as they have to play title-chasing Dynamos, outgoing champions CAPS United and already relegated Bantu Rovers.  

However, Mpofu reckons they are on course to keep their status in the Premiership next season despite sitting lowly on the log standings.

“We are never going to play this same game again and the most important thing is the next three games which I believe are must win encounters,” Mpofu said after the Yadah game.

“Looking at the log; the only way we can survive is by winning all our games. We are very much worried by our position but at the same time, I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel especially looking at the calibre of players that I have that have won big and tough games in the past.

“I think my players will rise to the occasion and I need to psyche them up. We have done well especially playing against big teams and that’s the only plus for me. The next two games I think my players need to rise again and show people that we are a good team.

“Good players are known by rising when they are low on confidence and show people what they are made of.” 

The former Chicken Inn and Highlanders coach conceded that his team had performed badly against Yadah and they would need to vastly improve when the league action resumes after the international break.  

“I think as a coach this is a disappointing result: we are now deeper into the relegation zone. I believe we can do better with the calibre of players we have and the games we have played before and won,” Mpofu said.

“But I’m not demoralised, we can play the next three games and get the nine points; it’s very possible especially with the squad that we have.

“I now want mental strength and the fighting spirit that we did not show today. We conceded goals that we could have avoided and we did not play our normal passing game.”

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