Chapungu in survival mode

HARARE - Chapungu coach Rodwell Dhlakama wants his charges to turn Ascot Stadium into a fortress in their bid to survive relegation from the Castle Lager Premiership.

The Air Force of Zimbabwe side take on high-flying Triangle United at home this afternoon as they continue their fight against the chop.

Chapungu go into this clash in 14th place on the log just one point away from the relegation zone with 10 games to go.

In their last encounter at their home ground, Waru Waru beat fellow uniformed forces side Black Rhinos 1-0.

They continued with their good form by getting a valuable 1-1 draw against Herentals at Rufaro Stadium last weekend.

Dhlakama wants his side to keep on with the good work especially at home if they are to maintain their Premiershwip status next season.

“I think from my own perception, it is going be a difficult game against Triangle tomorrow (today), however, that’s no excuse for us not to win the match,” he told the Daily News.

“The only way we can escape from this mess we are in at the moment is if we can win all our home games and probably get one result in the away matches.”

Triangle come into this game in fourth place on the log and on the back of three consecutive wins over Yadah FC, CAPS United and Bulawayo City.

The Sugar Sugar Boys’ form is not fazing Dhlakama and his charges though.

“We have a mammoth task ahead of us because Triangle are in good form but if you look back before they hit that stride, they had lost three matches on the trot,” Dhlakama said.

“As a team, we just have to believe that they (Triangle) are going to go on another bad run starting with our match.”

With 15th-placed Nichrut just one point behind Chapungu, Dhlakama wants his charges to keep focused on their remaining matches.

“I believe we have a good squad with a lot of experienced players and we do not deserve to be playing in the unfashionable world of Division One next year,” he said.

“We just need to keep our heads down and not worry much regarding what other teams around us are doing.

“We can only focus on what we can control and the onus is on my players to show that they don’t want to play in Division One next year by winning all our remaining matches.”

Speaking with the Daily News earlier this week, Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro said their number one priority now is catching up with third-placed Chicken Inn.

The Sugar Sugar Boys are on 41 points from 24 matches while the Gamecocks are on 44 points.

“The good thing is that we have consolidated our place in the top four. We managed to win this (last) weekend while our closest challengers were inactive,” Mangwiro told the Daily News.

“We just need to keep on winning in our remaining matches and try to catch third- placed Chicken Inn, who are now just three points ahead of us.

“The other two platinum teams are just too far ahead of us and we will probably not be able to close the gap on them.

“Our best hope now is for a third place finish.”

FIXTURES

Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Black Rhinos (Luveve), FC Platinum v Mutare City Rovers (Mandava), Harare City v Herentals (Rufaro), Chapungu v Triangle United (Ascot), Yadah FC v Chicken Inn (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Shabanie Mine (Nyamhunga), Bulawayo City v Dynamos (Barbourfields)

Tomorrw: CAPS United v Nichrut (NSS), Highlanders v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Barbourfields)

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