HARARE – Harare City coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube is wary of facing bottom side Bantu Rovers tomorrow as his side continue with their battle for survival in the Castle Lager Premiership.
The Sunshine Boys host Tshintsha Guluva at Rufaro Stadium.
Ncube’s side go into tomorrow’s match just one place above the last relegation slot with 31 points from 27.
By the end of today, City could be in the relegation zone if Shabanie Mine, who are on 30 points, beat Chicken Inn at Maglas Stadium this afternoon.
With this in mind, the Sunshine Boys gaffer is fully aware that his side need to get maximum points against a Bantu Rovers side, whose fate could be sealed this weekend.
“One thing for sure is that Bantu Rovers are still in the Premier League and they will only be deemed relegated at the end of the season,” Ncube said at his weekly press conference yesterday.
“So as we prepare for Saturday’s game, there are three things that we need to take care of; we should do away with complacency, we should score and we must defend and attack as a team for the entire 90 minutes.
“It’s not going to be an easy game but it’s a must win for us.”
The fact that Shabanie are in action a day earlier has also complicated matters for the Sunshine Boys.
“There’s not much difference between us and Bantu Rovers on the log; that alone should help us guard against complacency,” Ncube said.
“We cannot afford to lose any more points because we are sitting on the edge of a razor. Whatever happens on Friday (today); if Shabanie win then definitely we are back in the relegation zone.
“We don’t wish otherwise against Shabanie but if they get a positive result then we are under pressure.”
Harare City will also be without injured midfielder Malvin Gaki, goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu together with strikers Jerry Chipangura and Grey Kufandada.
“We will play around with the team and those that will be selected will definitely do the job,” Ncube said.
“As far as coordination of the team is concerned the injuries will affect us but as coaches, we need to come up with other plans.”
Ncube’s side have only picked up two wins in their last five matches and they desperately need put up a winning run of some sort in their remaining seven matches to secure their Premiership status for next season.
“We are crying for consistency but we will keep on hammering this to the players. We will keep on working with them psychologically so that we take each game as it comes,” he said.
“We need to work on integrated training and keep everyone happy; that’s the only way we can be able to do it.”
One thing that is working well for the Sunshine Boys though is their form in the Chibuku Super Cup knockout competition where they reached the semi-finals last weekend by defeating Black Rhinos 1-0 in a last eight clash.
“We are hoping this (cup run) will give us the belief and appetite to win our next game against Bantu,” Ncube said.
Today: Shabanie Mine v Chicken Inn (Maglas, SS)
Tomorrow: Bulawayo City v Ngezi Platinum (Barbourfields, SS), Tsholotsho v Chapungu (Dulivhadzimu), ZPC Kariba v Dynamos (Nyamhunga), Yadah v Black Rhinos (NSS), Harare City v Bantu Rovers (Rufaro), How Mine v Hwange (Luveve)
Sunday: CAPS United v Triangle United (NSS), Highlanders v FC Platinum (Barbourfields, SS).