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Nothing more can explain the pressure Dynamos coach David Mandigora is enduring at the moment amid a poor league run than the coach forgetting his players sidelined by injury for this afternoon’s Rufaro clash with FC Platinum.

“Rega ndimbofunga [Let me try to think],” he said, followed by a long silence. “Erick Opuku.”

Silence!

“Qadr Amini.”

“Died” yet again.

“I think ndivavo [I think that’s all].”

This could aptly sum Yogi’s dilemma following a three-game winless and goalless streak which includes last Wednesday’s 1-0 humiliation by debutants Whawha at Ascot and a 3-0 home destruction by Chicken Inn seven days ago.

Witnessing Saul Chaminuka lose his ZPC Kariba job last week could be terrifying for Mandigora who might probably be seeing himself as next Premier Soccer League (PSL) coach on the firing line.

Although just two places behind leaders Chicken Inn and still well within reach of top spot, the hard-to-please Dynamos fans are already questioning Mandigora’s tactical capabilities.

“Naturally there is pressure in coaching Dynamos,” said Mandigora.

“Even the players know the pressure. This is just a bad spell we are experiencing but things can be turned around. I feel sorry for the players because they have been working very hard but with no positive results. I hope we will rise.”

Mandigora appears a pale shadow of the coach who helped Dynamos end a 10-year-league title drought in 2007.

It could be hard for some fans to believe Mandigora is the coach who led them into the CAF Champions League semi-finals in 2008, coming close to emulating the club’s best ever gaffer Sunday Chidzambwa who had stormed into the final a decade earlier.

With the kind of opponents Dynamos are facing during such a trying period, Mandigora is at risk of soiling his CV this afternoon.

A draw could even cost the coach’s job five months into his second tenure.

“We take this game as any other. All games are tough in this league. We are prepared for FC Platinum,” he said.

After eight games, Dynamos have scored just six goals with the other one being a gifted own goal in their league opener against Buffaloes.

Midfielder Ronald Chitiyo is so far DeMbare’s top goal scorer with a paltry two, while Simba Nhivi and Dominic Chungwa are the only forwards to have found target this term.

For the past decade, Dynamos have made Rufaro a fortress where visitors are not allowed to emerge with the 3-0 winning margin as Chicken Inn did.

That has however not provided FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza with a belief that Dynamos can be tamed in their own backyard.

“It is not going to be an easy game because Dynamos obviously do not want to lose again,” said Mapeza.

With FC Platinum also having endured a tough time until their recent run of two successive victories, today’s contest could be stormy.

But Mapeza has refused to view his side as having improved.

“I do not think we have picked up form. We have always done well but it is just that results have not been coming our way,” he said.

The platinum miners arrive in Harare without forward Tarisai Rukanda who has a dislocated shoulder with much hope on top marksman Walter Musona who has four goals to his name so far.

Elsewhere, Highlanders host Harare City and are out to exorcise this season’s ghost of Barbourfields that has seen them lose their last two games at home against Chapungu and CAPS United.

City are posing a serious threat to Bosso coach Bongani Mafu who is still under scrutiny from supporters despite beating Flame Lily 3-0 last Wednesday away.

“We are back to ground zero. City are not like Flame Lily. This is another game and we always try to make our play fit the kind of opponents we would be facing,” Mafu.

“City have some good strikers and are g. They beat ZPC Kariba who defeated us so I expect anything. If we work hard we can get the three points.”

Highlanders go into battle with a full complement of strikers unlike in past games where they struggled with injuries.

Available forwards were now a headache for Mafu but all that changed in the Flame Lily match when Thomas Chideu, Obahia Tarumbwa and Gabriel Nyoni responded to criticism by scoring.

While Mafu is wary of City’s attack, his counterpart Taurai Mangwiro has travelled without injured key forwards Francisco Zekumbawire and Martin Vengesai.

“You always want to go into any match with every player but sometimes it is impossible,” said Mangwiro.

But teenage striker Tino Kadewere, Osborne Mukuradare and William Manondo can do the job for City.

Mangwiro is aware of Bosso’s recent home poor form but is not letting himself fooled by the bad spell.

“I know Highlanders have not been doing well at home recently and we want to capitalise on that, but I have warned my players not to be deceived by that. I do not want to look much into Highlanders but mind my side if I have enough arsenal to win the match. We are motivated going into the game after having beaten ZPC Kariba as we recovered from that loss to Triangle,” he said.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard

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