BULAWAYO giants Highlanders, having gone for four consecutive matches without a win, are under pressure to pick up maximum points in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League derby against bogey side Chicken Inn when they clash at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds on Sunday.
Bosso, whose problems seem to have mounted after the departure of Zambian gaffer Kelvin Kaindu, will have to beat the GameCocks on Sunday if their dream of a top-four finish is to remain alive.
Following the 0-1 defeat by Harare City in a league match in the capital on September 20, Bosso went on to lose 1-3 against ZPC Kariba at Hartsfield eight days later and Caps United hammered them 4-0 on October 12, in caretaker coach Mark Mathe’s first game in charge.
Last Sunday witnessed another 3-0 trouncing by Harare City at Rufaro Stadium in the semi-final of the Chibuku Super Cup.
Mathe must start getting maximum points if he is to win the favour of his employers and that of the multitudes of Bosso fans who have lost faith in the team.
His main worry are injuries to defenders Bruce Kangwa, Erick Mudzingwa and Webster Chingodza who will miss the Chicken Inn tie and Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube who only started light training this week.
“On the backdrop of the poor results and the injuries that we have suffered, we are starting on a minus, but as coaches we have been working very hard to cover up the places for the players that are injured,” he said.
“We know Chicken Inn also have their intentions, but there are five more games to play. We are aware the games are fast running out and we have to start picking up maximum points, but we are anticipating a tough match on Sunday.”
His counterpart at the fast foods outlet team, Joey Antipas, also eyeing a top-four finish which is within reach, said his target was to win all remaining games.
Chicken Inn have been in good form of late, but they are likely to be without skipper Danny “Deco” Phiri, who has not been feeling well since Monday and has not been training.
Phiri missed the last league match against Black Rhinos, which Chicken Inn won 2-0, due to suspension.
“We have to win all our games, but it’s a tall order to play our city rivals on Sunday,” Antipas said.
“Despite their slump, Highlanders is one of the biggest clubs in the country. Mathematically for us a top-four finish is possible.
“We have got a happy camp and the boys are looking forward to the game save for Deco (Danny Phiri) who has had a severe headache since Monday, but maybe he will be at training today (yesterday).”
Chicken Inn sit on position seven with 37 points, just two behind Bosso who are on the fourth spot. They have Bhekimpilo Ncube, Brian Mbiriri, Clemence Matawu, Ishmael Lawe, George Majika, Mkhokheli Dube, Thabani Goredema and Lawrence Mhlanga in camp.