Mapeza demands more from troops

The Herald

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is demanding consistency from his troops as they seek to reposition themselves in the quest for the defence of the Castle Lager Premiership football title. 

The platinum miners experienced ups and downs and were victorious in Harare for the first time this season when they beat Yadah 2-0 on Friday, courtesy of goals from Brian Banda and Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya. 

But Mapeza is still seeking that continuous winning streak that has never gone beyond three games. 

The team had a flying start this season and scored eight goals in their opening two matches played before the two-month break. 

The three-time champions experienced a dip in form when the season resumed in February after the Africa Cup of Nations break. 

To their credit, FC Platinum managed to remain within touching distance with the pacesetters. 

Now, they are in fourth place, six points behind log leaders Chicken Inn. They still have a game in hand after their match against Highlanders was abandoned in the 84th minute due to crowd trouble with the hosts leading 1-0 at Mandava. 

FC Platinum have seven wins, four draws and three draws from 14 games. 

“We are not consistent; we haven’t been consistent enough. 

“If you look at our previous games, before we played against Highlanders, we won at home Whawha (1-0), went to Bulawayo won (Bulawayo City 2-0), and then drew against Highlanders (match abandoned then we came here and we lost (Herentals 1-0), and then CAPS United (win). 

“I hope our next game we will win because we haven’t won three games in a row, but that’s not us but with what we have at the moment, I can’t complain,” said Mapeza. 

Mapeza’s team has been working hard to improve on their scoring record after experiencing a drought. 

The former Monomotopa coach says he is not bothered much when his young strikers miss a lot of chances in a game as they did at the National Sports Stadium on Friday. 

“It could have been more, Thando how many chances he got but he is still young and I always give him the benefit of doubt. If we had someone like Perfect (Chikwende) here, maybe he would be sitting on 20 goals now. 

“But he is still young and we need to keep pushing him. He is still learning, what is most important is we are creating those opportunities. But if we don’t bury them, they might come to haunt us, but at the moment we are okay,’’ said Mapeza. 

The platinum miners have shifted focus to young players as they have adopted a new strategy of treating football as a business. 

FC Platinum promoted a number of players last year from their Under-19 side and the youthful players are settling well into the top-flight season with each passing game. 

The platinum reduced the gap between them and the team at the top to six points and are now back in contention as the season heads towards the halfway mark. 

Chicken Inn returned to the top of the table on Sunday following a 1-0 victory over CAPS United. They dislodged Dynamos who had their game against Highlanders abandoned due to crowd trouble. 

The Gamecocks now have 31 points, one ahead of the Glamour Boys. Triangle continued with their silent revolution when they beat Cranborne Bullets 5-2 at Gibbo on Sunday to cement their third place with 28 points. FC Platinum have 25.

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