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ZPC Kariba exciting attacking midfielder Raphael Manuvire feels playing the big teams early has helped the Premiership newboys boost their confidence ahead of what promises to be a hectic debut season in the top-flight league. Not many would have given them the chance following a difficult pre-season, but the Zimbabwe Power Company outfit has surprised many with a decent start to their campaign.

ZPC Kariba staged a brave fightback on Sunday as they came from behind to force a 1-1 draw with Highlanders and maintain a seven-match unbeaten run.

Their star midfielder Manuvire yesterday told The Herald that they can now believe in themselves after playing all the traditional giants and coming out with their heads high.

ZPC Kariba beat defending champions Dynamos 1-0 and have claimed a point against Highlanders and CAPS United.

“We are playing our game without pressure and our coach has been very supportive,” said Manuvire, who has been one of the stand-out players of the new season.

“He is always encouraging us to continue doing well and now that we have played against all the big teams without losing I think that has helped our confidence.

“So far, we are happy with the way things have been going. Our preparation were not the best because of things that were beyond our control and when we started off, our first two or so games were about building confidence and I think we are now getting there.

“As for me I aim to continue working hard, scoring goals and to continue creating more goals for my teammates. Our game against Highlanders was evenly balanced because both teams were attacking.

“It was a matter of which team was going to take their chances.”

The 25-year-old, who began his professional career back in 2006 at Chegutu Pirates before turning out for Douglas Warriors, Mwana Africa and recently Harare City, believes the future can only be bright for ZPC Kariba. Highlanders assistant coach Mark Mathe conceded ZPC Kariba were a force to reckon with despite the team’s low profile as newcomers.

Highlanders and ZPC Kariba remain the only two teams unbeaten this season.

Mathe said the Bulawayo giants need to pick themselves up after surrendering top spot to Hwange.

Bosso will participate in the ZNA Charities tournament this Sunday but will meet Harare City in their next league assignment.

“Going forward we would need to pick ourselves up. Now we go back to the drawing board and work on some of the grey areas that were exposed.

“Our finishing was not up to scratch. We need to work on the conversion rate because we have chances coming our way,” said Mathe.

Hwange shot back to the top, thanks to a superior goal difference, following the 2-0 win over Bantu Rovers at the Colliery.

They are tied on 14 points with Luke Masomere’s Buffaloes who maintained their fine run with a 1-0 win over FC Platinum at Sakubva.

How Mine continued with their recovery as they notched up a fourth straight win to move onto 13 points as well, thanks to Kuda Musharu’s brace in the 2-1 victory over Chicken Inn.

Musharu has hit top form and now sits on top of the charts with six goals from five matches.

Harare giants CAPS United also made significant steps upwards following a 2-0 win over Black Rhinos.

The Green Machine are enjoying good returns since the decision to switch their home ground back to the National Sports Stadium.

But the story is different for rivals Dynamos who were on the road to Shabanie Mine. The reigning champions were held to a goalless draw with coach Callisto Pasuwa again blaming his misfiring strike-force.

Dynamos have not scored in their last three games and have managed only one point.

Source : The Herald