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Published On: Wed, Aug 31st, 2016

We’re not panicking: Mapeza

HARARE – FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza insists there is no need for his charges to panic after watching their lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership log cut by three points.

The platinum miners were enjoying a five-point lead at the top ahead of second-placed CAPS United going into last weekend’s action.

Mapeza’s side however, failed to maintain their lead and conceded a late equaliser against defending champions Chicken Inn at Mandava Stadium to take their tally to 43 points last Saturday.

On the same afternoon, Makepekepe made light work of relegation-threatened Mutare City Rovers, running out 4-1 winners to move to 40 points on the log.

With nine games to go before the season comes to an end, Platinum and CAPS will now slug it out for the title.

“Nobody is panicking,” Mapeza told the Daily News yesterday. “We have had a lot of games. Tough games, but then so has everyone else in the Premier League.

“Yes, that Chicken Inn draw was disappointing but looking back, it wasn’t our worst performance. I don’t think there is anything to be concerned about and we are actually looking forward to give it our all in the remaining fixtures.”

The Zvishavane-based club are chasing their first title since being promoted into top flight league five years ago and Mapeza believes they can achieve their goal this year.

“It is not a secret that we are in the title race; we also want to finish in the top there. But it requires hard work from everyone at the club. The good thing is that we all understand what we want as a club,” he said.

“We are not worried about what is happening at other teams, we are only concerned with our work at FC Platinum. There is still a long way to go and we need to stay focused.”

Platinum still have some difficult fixtures that lie ahead of them in the form of Dynamos, Highlanders, and Harare City.

And while the platinum miners will be looking at consolidating their position at the top of the log while CAPS United will also be praying hard for the platinum miners to slip up and pounce on the chance.

The Green Machine’s huge victory against Mutare City was a true indication of their intentions.

The Green Machine has launched a sustained title challenge since they last won it in 2005 but saw their progress being derailed with some below par performances in some matches they could have won costs them top spot.

Bulawayo giants Highlanders bounced back to winning at the weekend to end a six game winless streak.

Crucially for Highlanders, the win saw them reduce the gap with log leaders FC Platinum to six points.

It was a different story though for Harare giants Dynamos who had to settle for a goalless draw with Ngezi Platinum Stars.

The Glamour Boys now need a miracle to win the league as they remain 11 points behind platinum miners.