HARARE – Struggling Harare City will be hoping for change of fortunes when they host Bulawayo giants Highlanders this afternoon in a Castle Lager Premiership match at the National Sports Stadium.
The Sunshine Boys have had an indifferent start to the current campaign managing one win, three draws and three defeats to sit third from bottom with a paltry six points after seven matches.
The poor run has left coach Mike Madzivanyika’s future hanging by a thread with the team’s executive reportedly having lost faith in him.
Some are even suggesting the City hierarchy are already in the advanced stages of finding a new coach.
Madzivanyika admitted to be under pressure due to the poor run but challenged his players to use their clash against Highlanders get their season back on the road again.
“In terms of performance I’m satisfied but the problem is results are not coming our way and that is one thing that needs to be rectified,” Madzivanyika told the Daily News.
“If we can just get lucky in this game, I tell you things will change completely because that is what we have been lacking. We are only failing to turn our dominance into goals. And I have been telling the boys that this is their chance to turnaround our season.
“This is one game that can go a long way in boosting our confidence going forward and we should be ready for the challenge. The good thing is that the boys are willing and eager to improve. So we are looking forward to a positive outing this time around.”
Madzivanyika however, knows that it will not be easy against a Highlanders side that is also high on confidence having posted some important victories lately.
“We will play a very good side that is also motivated,” Madzivanyika said. “It’s definitely not going to be easy and we need to work hard if we are to come out with a positive result.
“They will definitely not make it easy for us. But if we are to compete then this is one game we need to win at all costs.”
Highlanders on the other hand are desperate to forget events that characterised their last home game against bitter rivals Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium.
The game lasted only 42 minutes before it was abandoned as Bosso fans reacted violently to Christian Ntouba’s equaliser for the Glamour Boys after the home side had taken the lead on 24 minutes through Rahman Kutsanzira.
Bosso coach Erol Akbay insists that episode is now water under the bridge and they are now focused on picking up maximum points in their clash against City this afternoon.
“We have since forgotten about that match (against Dynamos) and we are looking forward to our next game,” Akbay told the Daily News.
“I’m not worried at all remember that match had nothing to do with players so we are fully focused and looking forward to ma good result.”
Akbay has refused to read much into their opponents’ poor run saying they remain a threat and are treating them with due respect they deserve.
“All teams in the Premier League are difficult and we know what Harare City is capable of doing,” the Dutchman said.
“We cannot afford to underestimate because they remain a good side with quality players. These things do happen in football and we only need to do our best to come up with a win. It’s also an away match and it’s going to be really difficult.”
In another Premier League match set for today, Chicken Inn host FC Platinum at Luveve Stadium hoping to maintain their winning streak having beaten struggling Yadah in their last match.
FC Platinum on the other hand are desperate for maximum points after held to a goalless draw by How Mine in their last match.
Today: Harare City v Highlanders (National Sports), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve)
Tomorrow: Dynamos v Black Rhinos (National Sports), ZPC Kariba v CAPS United (Nyamhunga)