BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu is confident that his strikers will return to form against FC Platinum in tomorrow afternoon’s Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals clash at Baobab Stadium.
While odds favour FC Platinum, Mpofu says he is confident that his side will eliminate the Zvishavane-based miners from the tournament.
He admitted that his team did not play well in the group stages even though they still managed to qualify after finishing on second spot.
The Bulawayo giants scored only four goals and conceded two in six matches, with three victories and three draws.
Bosso finished a point behind Chicken Inn, who take on Ngezi Platinum Stars at 11am.
Highlanders’ goals came from Lynoth Chikuhwa (two) and a goal each from Washington Navaya and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda from the penalty spot.
“We have worked round the clock. We have looked at where we have not been doing well. We did pretty well in terms of not conceding, which means we have been defending well, but we have been missing good opportunities. I have said to the boys during the course of the week, ‘how do you miss goals when you have Lynoth Chikuhwa, when you have got Keith Mavhunga?” How on earth can we not have good opportunities when we have one of the best midfielders in the country (Joel Ngodzo)?’ It all boils down to self-belief, confidence and we need to psyche these boys at the end of the day.” Mpofu said.
He said he had one of the best squads among the teams in the quarter-finals.
“It is just a matter of time, they will gel, they will come right and I guess and hope it will happen on Saturday because we have got the arsenal and personnel that can push for goals, if we look at player-to-player compared to these other teams. We have players that can score goals, it’s a matter of time and they have to believe in themselves.”
Highlanders, the Chibuku Super Cup holders, take on league champions FC Platinum, a side they beat 3-0 in the quarter-finals of the competition in 2019.
The platinum miners finished the group stages at the top of Group 3 with 13 points, banging in 16 goals in six games and conceding five with their top men Rodwell Chinyengetere, on four goals, and Silas Songani with three. Mpofu knows the danger that the high-riding FC Platinum poses.
“We all know what they (FC Platinum) have done in the country. We all know their intentions. They want to win everything. We have planned accordingly and we want to give them competition. FC Platinum is a team which you cannot say you have home advantage,” Mpofu said.
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