RODWELL Dhlakama, coach of Zimbabwe’s struggling premier league champions Monomotapa has defended his team’s poor run ahead of their premier soccer league encounter against Gunners on Saturday.
Gunners are seeking to avenge their 2-0 loss to premier league giants Dynamos. Match analysts say Gunners were the better side but failed to convert better scoring chances.
Monoz have had a poor start to the season, winning only two games. They however have had a remarkable run in their maiden Champions League campaign, reaching the mini-league stage of the tournament.
The coach however defended the performance of the team saying the club had been rocked by injuries and several talented players are out but will resume training after a month.
“We have a few players to select from because most of the players are injured,” Dhlakama said. “The likes of Voster Chitema and Tapfuma Simango are injured and as a team there is nothing we can do but to wait for the guys to fully recover.
“Most of these guys will have to resume training after about a month according to our doctors which means we have to use the young players that we have.”
Despite poor league form, Monomotapa have managed to topple giants Asec Mimosas and Ajax Cape Town in the African Champions League. Dhlakama said the fact that the team was taking part in the Champion’s League affects players psychologically and this reflects in their league performance.
“The teams we are playing against know that we are taking part in the Champions League and employ dangerous tackles. My charges avoid the dangerous tackles because they want to be ready for the more crucial encounters.”
Saturday: Black Rhinos vs Caps United (Rufaro); Eagles vs Hwange (Rudhaka); Gunners vs Monomotapa (Gwanzura); Lengthens vs Sundowns (Dzivarasekwa); Highway vs Motor Action (Sakubva)
Sunday: Dynamos vs Kiglon (Rufaro); Shooting Stars vs Bantu Rovers; Highlanders vs Underhill.
BY KUDZAYI TIGERE