The Herald (Harare)

24 May 2012

Zimbabwe: Rahman Responds to Connor Jibe

FC PLATINUM coach Rahman Gumbo has noted the jibe from his CAPS United counterpart Sean Connor and has warned the Harare side that he could have the last laugh at the end of their Premiership clash at the National Sports Stadium today.

Connor stoked the flames ahead of the high-profile clash when he taunted FC Platinum on Tuesday and branded the miners as "being a smaller team compared to the Green Machine" despite their financial muscle.

The Northern Irishman said FC Platinum are a good side but bragged about his team's more illustrious history in the Premiership over FC Platinum who are relative newcomers after their entry last season.

The two teams clash in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.

"We have been called small boys and maybe we are small guys as Connor said.

"So we will respect them and maybe they are not happy because we use the same green strip," said Gumbo.

FC Platinum have hit a purple patch of late as they have collected maximum points in their last three games.

Gumbo, who is also the national team coach, is confident that the Zvishavane miners will continue with their fine run which has seen them chalking up wins over Motor Action (2-0 at Mandava), Black Mambas (4-1 away) and Gunners (2-1 at home).

After a false start, CAPS United are slowly finding their rhythm and Connor is now coming out of his shell following two wins in his team's last two matches.

The Northern Irishman had a rude awakening to the domestic league when he failed to win a single game in five attempts and pressure was slowly mounting on him.

However, CAPS United managed to secure identical 1-0 wins over lowly sides Quelaton and Blue Rangers with the two victories doing much to restore their confidence.

But FC Platinum are not Quelaton or Rangers and Connor admitted as much during his weekly media briefing on Tuesday.

The CAPS United manager, however, admitted that FC Platinum will give them a stern test.

Despite having chief striker Donald Ngoma on the long term casualty list Gumbo's men have been finding the goals from different sources such as defender Norman Togara, midfielders Ali Sadiki and Joel Ngodzo and young forward Mitchelle Katsvairo.

Ngoma, injured during a Champions League preliminary round tie against Green Mamba of Swaziland in February is back on the mend but Gumbo revealed that the forceful striker is still sidelined for today's match.

"Ngoma has started some light training but he is out of this game and we also have Tandazani Ndlovu who is also injured but otherwise the rest of the guys are okay.

"The players are ready for the challenge and geared," said Gumbo.

The two previous meetings in the league between the two clubs have ended in stalemates both in Harare and at Mandava last season.

During the first half at the National Sports Stadium, want-away striker Benjamin Marere and Charles Sibanda were on target for the moneybags while David Rediyoni and Washington Pakamisa scored for CAPS United.

Ngoma found the target in the reverse fixture at Maglas, while Pride Tafirenyika replied for CAPS United.

In other matches in the capital Premeirship returnees Buffaloes meet debutants Harare City at Rufaro while Gunners host Hardbody at Lafarge.

Harare City appear to have mustered the art of drawing while Saul Chaminuka's soldiers are playing with some consistency after a slow start.

Buffaloes ageless skipper Dananai Chinowawa yesterday attributed their good run to teamwork.

"We are working hard as a team to get the results," he said.

Fixtures:

Today: CAPS v FC Platinum (NSS), Harare City v Buffaloes (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Black Mambas (Luveve), Gunners v Hardbody (Lafarge).

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