Mapeza calls for mental strength

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza believes his side must be ready to face fired-up opponents in every game they play since shooting to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership log.

Pure Platinum Play became the first team to beat Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium in 31 matches when they won 1-2 last weekend.

Ngezi Platinum’s unbeaten home run had stretched from August 2016 but it went up in smoke as Never Tigere scored a superb free kick in the 94th minute.

The defending champions are now on 41 points from 16 matches and now lead Ngezi by three points.

This afternoon, Pure Platinum Play have another tough assignment against Highlanders at Mandava Stadium.

The former Galatasary defender is fully aware that as defending champions and log leaders, teams will not make it easy for his side.

“We have been in this situation before and we know how it is; all the other teams will up their game as they would want to beat,” Mapeza said.

“We have to be prepared and we know that in sport when you go up, there is always someone trying to take up your position so mentality, we have to be prepared.”

Bosso come into today’s match looking for some redemption following last weekend’s shock 0-1 defeat to newly-promoted city rivals Bulawayo Chiefs.

That defeat left Highlanders in fourth place some 12 points behind the log leaders as the season hurtles towards the halfway mark.

“It’s a big game for us and we are playing against a good side. I think if you check their away record, they have been doing very well; they have been very fantastic of late,” Mapeza said of Bosso.

“We know the challenges that we are going to face on Saturday (today) and I think according to our preparations, we are all ready for the game.

“This is a game that we need to play with a positive mindset, they are doing well and they have a young side full of running.

“We know the challenges that we are going to face and we just have to remain mentally prepared for the game. At the end of the day, it’s all about mental strength; it’s the psychological aspect that will come in to play an important role in such games.”

The former Warriors coach said his players will not underestimate Bosso going into today’s clash.

“There might be a 12-point gap between us and Highlanders but like I’m always saying, the most important thing is for us to focus on our game and collect as much points as we can,” Mapeza said.

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