FC Platinum optimistic


FC PLATINUM assistant coach Tendai Chikuni has refused to press the panic button maintaining that his side will soon recover from their current slump in form to contest for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League championship.

Report by Ephraim Shoko

The 2011 season runners-up are currently going through a lean spell that has seen them collecting a paltry six points from a potential 18, after winning just once, losing twice and drawing three times in six matches.

Pure Platinum Play, as Platinum are affectionately known, last tasted victory exactly a month ago when they edged Tripple B 1-0 at Mandava Stadium, Zvishavane, and went on to draw 0-0 against Highlanders at the same venue, before playing to a 1-1 draw away to Monomotapa.

The platinum miners returned home to be stunned 1-0 by visiting Hwange, before succumbing 2-1 away to Caps United and finally settling for a 1-1 draw with Harare City at home last weekend.

In all the six matches, FC Platinum have managed to hit the back of the net four times and conceded five times — just to illustrate the extent to which the team’s performance has nose-dived in recent times.

FC Platinum, who once topped the log table, are now placed fifth on the standings with 22 points from 13 games and trail leaders Highlanders with seven points.

Despite the current indifferent performance by the Platinum miners, Chikuni and the entire technical department at the Zvishavane-based side led by Tenant Chilumba, have refused to give in.

“I don’t think there is reason to panic yet. Yes, we might be going through a rough patch, but I believe we have the quality to bounce back. We simply need to recover psychologically if we are to register a positive result in our next encounter,” Chikuni said.

FC Platinum will be away to Motor Action in their next encounter in which the Zvishavane side have to win to keep their championship hopes alive.

Chikuni maintained that his charges were not far off from the leading pack and would soon start winning matches and catch up with the log leaders.

“If you look at it, we are not far off from the log leaders. We are just seven points behind and that requires that we win three matches while they lose three for us to catch up. I believe the league is still a long way to go and there is enough time for us to recover.

“We are still in contention for the championship and it is only a matter of time before we bounce back,” he said.

During the same time last season, FC Platinum were third on the log with 24 points, just two more than the total number of points they have registered this season after 13 games.

The Platinum miners can draw solace and inspiration from the fact that they are not far off from where they were on the log during the same period last season.

FC Platinum have not made secret their intentions of wrestling the championship from traditional winners Dynamos and Highlanders, and the Zvishavane side will need to start picking up points if they are to keep their title aspirations alive. Highlanders lead the log standings with 29 points, followed by reigning champions Dynamos who have 25 points.

Harare City are fourth with the same number of points as Dynamos while Chicken Inn, who have 23 points are fourth with Platinum a point behind.