The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
HIGHLANDERS’ battle to climb up the log standing continues today as they face new boys, TelOne, at Barbourfields Stadium.
Bosso’s woeful season has seen them hover just above the relegation zone for the better part of the year but a recent turn of fortunes has seen them steadily climb up the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after collecting seven points in the last three games.
Highlanders coach, Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh believes they have to collect maximum points if they are to entertain any chances of making it into the top eight.
“We are aiming for nothing but a victory and I have a good feeling we will win on Sunday but it is something that we are going to have to work for.
“The league is very competitive and any team can win against any other side. Even if you look at the scores there haven’t been huge margin wins meaning we have to take our chances. We have to get maximum points if we are to cover the gap between us and our rivals. There is a big opportunity as the points gap is not that huge,” he said.
The Dutchman was however, not lost to TelOne’s good form that has seen the Gweru-based side go for five games without tasting defeat.
He said the fact that TelOne has managed to go for four games without conceding was a feat they were mindful of and they would not underrate the side.
The Bosso coach said a hectic schedule that saw them play four games in 11 days with two of those games in Harare left his charges drained and played a role in their failure to come to the party against Herentals last Sunday.
“I gave my boys time off to rest today (Thursday) so they can recover from the packed schedule.
We had to travel to Harare twice inside a week while playing a mid-week fixture in between and I feel this was draining. I feel they can come back rejuvenated and give a similar performance to the one we saw against Chicken Inn,” he said.
TelOne has also seen a resurgence following the appointment of Rahman “Rush” Gumbo to head the technical department and the club has won three of their past five games giving them hope they will have another dance in the Premiership next year.
While Gumbo lost his first match in charge at TelOne, a 0-3 loss to ZPC Kariba, he managed to turn the tide winning three of the past five matches while the other two games ended in stalemates.
The former Bosso gaffer managed to beat Yadah (4-1), Ngezi (1-0) and Manica Diamonds (1-0) while he drew against Dynamos and FC Platinum.
TelOne seem to have come up with a watertight defence that has ensured they have not conceded in the past four games and this should be worrying to Highlanders strike force.
Across town, Bulawayo Chiefs takes on Triangle at Luveve Stadium with Amakhosi hoping to take in more points as they make a last-gasp attempt to avoid the chop.
Chiefs are sitting perilously in the drop zone as they are second from bottom and they need to rake in as much points as possible.
Today: Caps Utd vs Hwange (NSS); Bulawayo Chiefs v Triangle (Luveve); Chapungu v Herentals (Ascot) Highlanders v Tel One (Barbourfields).