Mapeza demands response

HARARE - Defending champions FC Platinum will be desperate to bounce back to winning ways when they return to Mandava Stadium for a date against stubborn Bulawayo Chiefs in a Castle Lager Premiership match this afternoon.

Defeat at the hands of Harare City on Wednesday saw FC Platinum’s lead at the top of the table being cut to just a single point by second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars, who thumped bottom side Shabanie Mine 5-1 the same day at Baobab Stadium.

Now they welcome Bulawayo Chiefs — a team that handed the reigning champions their first defeat of the season in the reverse fixture — ahead of a testing run of fixtures that could define their campaign.

With 11 matches left before the season concludes, Norman Mapeza’s charges sit at the top of the table with 52 points from 23 matches while second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars, who travel to Rusape tomorrow to face relegation-threatened Mutare City are on 51 points.

“The most important thing for us is to remain focused and concentrate on our next matches.

“This defeat is already water under the bridge and what’s important is how we react in our next match against Bulawayo Chiefs,” Mapeza said.

“The good thing is that we are still at the top of the table and we need to work hard to consolidate our position. We are looking forward to a good game and hopefully collect maximum points.”

Mapeza admits there are no easy matches in the league, hence expects a tough match from Bulawayo Chiefs.

“Every game especially at this stage of the season is difficult. Bulawayo Chiefs are a difficult side and they have been picking some important results lately so we are not taking them lightly,” he said.

Bulawayo Chiefs are unbeaten in their previous five matches having managed three wins and two draws to move up the ladder to 10th place on the log table with 29 points from 23 matches.

And they will be hoping to continue on an upward trajectory to boost their chances of surviving relegation.

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