Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ management has backed under-fire coach Mandla Mpofu and still have faith that he can still turnaround their fortunes starting with Sunday’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash with fierce rivals Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium.
Bosso find themselves two points above the relegation zone with 16 points going into Sunday’s game dubbed the “Battle of Zimbabwe” in the local league.
DeMbare top the league table with 30 points from 14 games and Bosso trail by 14 points.
Pressure has been mounting on Mpofu with his side going for more than a month without a win.
They last tasted league victory on March 27 when they dispatched Yadah 3-0 at Barbourfields Stadium.
But in the midst of their poor run, Highlanders have stuck with their coach, believing he is the right man to extricate them from their current quagmire and still challenge for the league title.
The English Premiership drama in which Manchester City and Liverpool are heading for a photo finish despite the Reds having been 14 points behind sometime in January, leaves Highlanders daring to dream.
However, when Liverpool trailed Manchester City by 14 points in January, they had played a game less and were third on the league table, but Mpofu and Bosso believe they are still in the title race.
“We’ve got 20 games to play.
Remember, at one time Manchester City were leading Liverpool by 14 points, but look what’s happening now? They’re taking the title race to the wire.
I think what we need to do is just a quick-turnaround,” said Mpofu.
For Highlanders to get into contention, they should pray that teams above them drop points, while they embark on a miraculous winning streak.
According to statistics, since the league extended to 18 teams from 16 in 2017, FC Platinum won the title with 72 points, defended it with 78 points the following season and in 2019, the platinum miners were crowned champions with 63 points.
But can Bosso stage the greatest title chase in the history of the PSL?
Highlanders’ chief executive officer Ronald Moyo said the club still believes Mpofu can lead them to glory.
“The target, not only for the coach, but for everyone at the club, has always been clear from the onset when we started the season and made our intentions clear that we want to win the championship.
The target for the coach is to win matches.
So, as he goes to this match (Dynamos game), he knows it’s part of the targets that he must win.
Our objectives remain unchanged that we want to fight for the championship.
We’re a club that cannot be proud of saying we want to finish on a respectable position, we’re a club that should be fighting for honours season in, season out.
We remain hopeful and we remain working hard as a club behind the scenes to make sure that we chase the objectives that we set out at the beginning of the season,” said Moyo.
He said Mpofu’s job is safe and they’re working tirelessly to assist him get positive results, as it is their collective job to deliver to the multitude of Bosso followers.
Moyo said the Mpofu-led technical team that consists of assistants Bekithemba Ndlovu and Joel Luphahla has submitted a wish-list of players they want in the coming transfer window.
“We still see that there’s hope to win the championship and we’re working behind the scenes to make sure that we achieve that objective.
Some of the plans the coach has already preempted that during the coming window we will try and beef up the squad as per recommendations of the technical team.
So, I think that speaks to the desire to change fortunes of this club,” Moyo said.