HOW Mine coach Luke Masomere insists he is rebuilding a team for next season despite his side being just above the drop zone with six matches left before the end of the campaign.
He would face a tough trip to the Colliery fortress against Hwange this Sunday.
“I have said it before and I will say it again that I am building a team for next season. I know by the end of the campaign I will be having a very strong team to compete in the topflight league. I need a minimum of nine points to be assured of safety. A team needs about 36 points to be guaranteed safety. We are separated by very few points, but I know I have got the capacity to survive while other teams have got the ill-luck to go down,” Masomere said.
How Mine are placed on 11th position on the league table with 29 points with just six matches left before the end of the campaign.
They have won seven, drawn eight and lost nine. The How Mine gaffer is, however, unbeaten in the league since his appointment. He lost to Harare giants Dynamos in the NetOne Wallet Cup – his first game in charge since joining from army side Buffaloes before he was booted out of the Chibuku Super Cup by Bulawayo giants Highlanders.
In the league campaign he started off with a 3-2 victory over ZPC Kariba – their second defeat of the campaign. He then drew 0-0 against Caps United before settling for a 1-1 draw against Chicken Inn last weekend.
On Sunday, Masomere would face Hwange hoping to start collecting points he needs to ensure safety by the end of the season. He still has other outstanding matches against Chiredzi (home), (Shabanie Mine (away), Chapungu (home), Bantu (away) before taking on Dynamos on the final day of the league programme (away).
Triangle who face ZPC Kariba on Saturday, are also in the relegation puzzle on 12th position with 27 points and need to win at least three matches to ensure survival although that will largely depend on results elsewhere.
They still have to host Harare giants Caps United then Chicken Inn (away), Hwange (home), Chiredzi (away) before hosting Shabanie in the last match of the league programme.
Black Rhinos – also battling to escape the chop on 13th position with 27 points – face off Chicken Inn (away) this weekend needing at least nine points more to survive before playing Hwange, Chiredzi (away), Shabanie (home), Chapungu (away) before hosting Bantu Rovers in the last match of the season.
Fellow relegation candidates Shabanie Mine in 14th place with 26 points, have a date against Chapungu at Maglas and need at least 10 points to be guaranteed safety. They travel to Bantu next, How Mine (home), Black Rhinos (away), Highlanders (home) before making the trip to Triangle.
Bantu Rovers in 15th position with a paltry 18 points, need to win all their remaining six matches to garner at least 36 points to survive although that will depend on results from other relegation-threatened candidates. They travel to Chiredzi this weekend before hosting Shabanie Mine, Chapungu (away), Dynamos (away), How Mine (home), Black Rhinos (away).
Chiredzi still at the foot of the table with just 14 points, cannot reach the 36-point mark needed to at least avoid relegation.
They will host Bantu before travelling to How Mine, Black Rhinos (home), Highlanders (away), Triangle (home) and FC Platinum away on the final day of the league programme.