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« on: September 13, 2017, 05:27:54 PM »
Zimbabwe: The King of Caution... .mutasa Says His Glamour Boys Still Have a Lot to Learn

Soccer
Southern Africa
Sport
Zimbabwe


- Soccer

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- Sport

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- Zimbabwe

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LOYD MUTASA says his Glamour Boys are still a team in transition, learning with each passing game, and their explosive run in the Castle Lager Premiership race -- which has seen them win their last six matches -- should not mask their cracks which his coaching staff is battling to mend.


The country's biggest and most successful football club has hit a purple patch, after a poor start to their campaign this year, and Dynamos now find themselves in second place in the race for the league championship.


Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya has already installed his former team as favourites for the league title this year even though he made it clear his men will give it their biggest shot.


Mutasa's men have been impressive, especially in their last six matches and are walking with a spring in their step after beating their biggest city rivals, CAPS United, in a Harare Derby at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.


Analysts have suggested that their workmanlike performance against the Green Machine was the stuff that champions are made of and, where DeMbare disintegrated last year against the same opponents by conceding three goals in the last five minutes of the match in a 3-3 draw, they showed remarkable resilience this time around.


Mutasa's mentor, Sunday Chidzambwa, the most successful football coach in the country, has always argued that while strikers can help teams win knockout tournaments, it's the defence that wins the championship.


And, ahead of the Battle of Zimbabwe showdown against a Highlanders side which has been battling internal strife of late, Mutasa said his project was still something that needed a lot of panel-beating and while he was happy with how his men had responded this season, they were still far from where he wants them to be.


The coach has forged a reputation for himself as a man who has a good eye for talent, having been the one who assembled the Dynamos team in 2011, which had a number of new faces in the squad, which later went on to win the league championship.


Yesterday, he told The Herald he was working very hard to get his Dynamos team to where he wants and while the results have been kind to them, he was not getting carried away because he knows there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to create the team that he wants. Mutasa has now led the Glamour Boys to three victories and a draw in the four Harare Derby matches he has been in charge of.


He guided his men to back-to-back victories in 2011 before he was sacked, a few weeks later, and to Sunday's win. He was also in charge in the 3-3 draw last year while the Portuguese gaffer was in charge when DeMbare lost 0-1 to Makepekepe in the first Harare Derby at Rufaro last year.


"We managed to score two goals, got three points and never conceded but we learn with each game and we are never satisfied and we have been at training working on rectifying some of our mistakes," said Mutasa.


He underlined the importance of picking up maximum points in the Battle of Zimbabwe, a game he believes will have a huge bearing on their title aspirations. "I think we prepared well and we are still preparing for the game. The boys are showing signs of wanting to carry on (with winning), so we will try to give it our best and see if we can get three points.


"Other contenders have league fixtures as well, so our Sunday result and other teams' results will tell us where we are going. "We have always been telling ourselves to keep our feet on the ground. The Derby is over and this is the Battle of Zimbabwe."


Mutasa said going into another high-profile game after the energy-snapping blockbuster match against their biggest city rivals requires total concentration from everyone at the team.


"If you look at CAPS United and Highlanders, they are some of the biggest teams in the land, we treat them the same," said Mutasa "It will be a full house and the stakes are high in this game as well. We would want to give it our best, like we did last weekend, and the players should be able to cope with the big crowd as well as a high-tempo match."


The coach is hoping that his chief striker Christian Epoupa Ntouba will continue with his fine form which has seen him getting five goals in three successive games.


The glut of goals saw the Cameroonian forward taking his haul to 11 goals and he leads the race for the Golden Boot. "We only hope that he takes it from where he left and all the same we look up to other players because they have contributed goals as well," said Mutasa.


"We have always said we can talk of the things we have control over, but every house has its problems and come Sunday we will play Highlanders that we know and we are expecting a tough match."


Fixtures

Today: Ngezi Platinum v Harare City (Baobab).


Tomorrow: FC Platinum v How Mine (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Bulawayo City (Rufaro, 3pm, SS), Chicken Inn v Yadah (Hartsfield), Chapungu v Shabanie (Ascot), Tsholotsho v ZPC Kariba (Dulivadzimo).


Sunday: Bantu Rovers v CAPS United (Hartsfield), Triangle v Hwange (Gibbo), Dynamos v Highlanders (Rufaro, 3pm, SS).


Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reportedly accused ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe of reacting "stupidly"_ Read more


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