Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
FC Platinum coach, Norman Mapeza, is not convinced his team has enough depth to fight for the championship despite shooting to the top of the standings after a 2-0 win over Herentals at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The title race is tight as the defending champions top the log on superior goal difference, tied on 39 points with ZPC Kariba, after 22 games.
Chicken Inn and CAPS United are a point behind while Black Rhinos are on 36 points after yesterday’s 2-1 win over Triangle at Gibbo.
The Zvishavane miners got their goals through Albert Eonde 14 minutes into the game before Rodwell Chinyengetere rose from the bench to score with his first touch in the 72nd minute.
But Mapeza, who is missing a number of players due to injuries and suspensions, said his team is currently not in shape to fight for honours.
“Look I have to be honest with you, for us to really think we have to push for the championship the way we are, we don’t have depth at all.
“If you guys can’t see that then well I don’t know. We have to work and see how the season progresses, because in terms of depth we don’t have anything at the moment.
“The following week we are going to play CAF Champions league and if those guys (injured players) don’t recover it means these same guys are going to play. So you understand what I am talking about,” said Mapeza.
The back-to-back title winning coach, however, gave credit to his boys for the positive result given the number of players they are missing.
“It was a good result, we are missing about 10 of our good players, some are injured and others are on suspension.
“Credit to the boys who have worked very hard, but my main worry is how are we going to move forward because we are struggling. We are struggling I need to be honest with you but we have to soldier on.
“And if we can manage to get maximum points away from home it’s something which is very pleasing. We just need to keep working hard and see how the season progresses,” said Mapeza.
Mapeza gave some of his youngsters, who were promoted from their Under 19 side, a run leaving some of the senior players on the bench.
“We had three guys from the Under 19s, I am someone who believes in these youngsters. I just told them to go and enjoy themselves, make mistakes that’s the only way they can improve to play football. I am happy they did well.
“If I was someone, I could have thrown those (senior) guys in the deep end from the onset but like I said I am someone who believes in discipline and attitude. I don’t care whether it’s Mkhokheli (Dube), if he is not giving what I want he can come and join me here (on the bench).”
Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva said failure to convert chances cost them a positive result.
“It was very difficult in terms expressing ourselves but we did what we normally do, fail to convert chances that came our way which saw us get punished by FC (Platinum),” said Mutiwekuziva.