Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO Chiefs aim to bounce back when they confront fellow Castle Lager Premier Soccer League new boys Nichrut FC at Ascot Stadium on Saturday.
Chiefs had a bright start to their maiden Premiership season, but they have found the going tough in the last four games. They last tasted victory when they shocked champions FC Platinum 2-0 a month ago.
After that impressive win over the champions, Chiefs played to two consecutive nil-all draws against Herentals and Black Rhinos before back-to-back defeats at the hands of Triangle (0-2) and Dynamos (0-1).
The Chiefs side, made up of unheralded players, has amassed 11 points from as many games and find themselves in a respectable 10th position on the league table.
Nichrut have also had a decent debut season and are in ninth place on the log, just one point above Chiefs.
Chiefs coach Garthly Chipuka believes the recent results are not a reflection of how his team has performed on the pitch.
“We have been playing good football this season, but results have not come our way in the past few games. As a coach you get worried when results do not go your way, but with the way the boys have played, I am positive we will soon strike the right chord. Our focus is to collect three points in our next game,” said Chipuka.
“One of the problems we have had is injuries. As we speak, we have no outright striker going into the next game. Strikers Kundishora Chakanyuka, Farawu Matare, Dylan Chivandire and Hamandishe Moyo are all out injured, meaning we will have to operate with a makeshift strike force at the weekend. Injuries have really affected us. The quick transitions, which are our trademark, are not there because we are missing some of our guys. We will have to hunt for a striker when the mid-season window opens.”
In the absence of the injured quartet, Chiefs will look to creative midfielder Arthur Musiiwa, utility player Moses Majika and exciting playmaker Perfect Chikwende to score goals.
Saturday: Nichrut v Bulawayo Chiefs (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Bulawayo City (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Yadah (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Highlanders v Caps United (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Chapungu (Maglas), Dynamos v FC Platinum (Rufaro), Triangle United v Black Rhinos (Gibbo), Mutare City Rovers v Herentals (Vengere)