MADINDA Ndlovu has revealed that Highlanders will go into tomorrow’s top-of-the-table Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium with seven of his key players doubtful for the match due to injuries.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Defender Tendai Ndlovu and midfielder Nigel Makumbe were substituted in the second half of Sunday’s in the 3-1 win over Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields Stadium after sustaining knocks while skipper Honest Moyo and striker Ozias Zibande were not part of the team.
Defensive linkman Ben Musaka was also injured in the game against Shabanie Mine as well as striker Thabo Lunga, who had replaced Brian Banda in that match.
“We are preparing for the top-of-the-table clash on Saturday against Ngezi Platinum Stars, but we are going into this game with a lot of worries as a club in terms of injuries. The number of injured players keeps increasing. We are not sure if we going to have Tendai, Nigel and Thabo who did duty last week. They are adding onto the list of our injured players who include Ozias (Zibande), Honest (Moyo) and Bukhosi Ncube. I am also not quite sure if Musaka will make it,” Ndlovu said.
However Ndlovu has put on a brave face and is hopeful that the replacements will be up for the task.
“But we have a job ahead of us and are very much aware of the good run that Ngezi Platinum have shown so far. With the players that we have got although, we are not going to be as smooth as we would have loved to be, we still have capable players who can do well for the team. I am confident that these boys will do duty and it is their time to prove that they can start. Tactically I think the boys will come to the party,” he said.
Mbongeni Ndlovu, who came in for Tendai Ndlovu on Sunday, played well as a left back on his debut, while Adrian Silla is available in the absence of Musaka.
Munyaradzi Chitambwe, Andrew Mbeba and Brian Jaravaza usually sit on the bench.
The coach is hoping that some of the injured players can recover in time for tomorrow’s blockbuster.
Going into this match both teams have a seven-match unbeaten run and Ndlovu said he is not reading much into Ngezi’s good home record.
“There is no team that gets special treatment. We go with what we have put in place and play the way we want and if Ngezi Platinum fall victim, tough luck for them. If they beat us they must be doing something better than us, we will admit. We are not scared of them. Whether they water the ground, dance or sleep at the ground it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day it’s their 11 players that are going to play and those that would have watered the pitch or danced will not be there,” Ndlovu said.
Two points separate Ngezi and Highlanders with the hosts who are on 19 points banking on home advantage to upset the Bulawayo giants, who travel with hordes of their fans for their away matches.
Ngezi are unbeaten at the Babobab since 2016.