The Herald (Harare)

9 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Zuze Rallies Monomotapa

Monomotapa coach Biggie Zuze has challenged his charges to put behind them a run of two successive losses and move a gear up when they clash with FC Platinum in a Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-final tie at Sakubva tomorrow.

Zuze's men are looking to build on the impressive quarter-final show when they ousted giants Highlanders in impressive fashion after coming back from a two-goal deficit and win 3-2 at the Colliery.

But despite their attractive brand of passing football which has won admiration even from supporters of their opposing teams, Monomotapa have been weighed down by two successive defeats to Gunners (1-0) and Dynamos (2-1) in their last two league matches.

Zuze yesterday said they were looking forward to going all the way to the final.

"We have been playing well but unfortunately we couldn't win our last two games. Indeed, it was a bad run but I am sure we have put that behind us now and we are focusing on the FC Platinum game.

"I think we were very unlucky especially in the last game against Dynamos. We put everything into the game but we just couldn't win it at the end of the day.

"We talked about it on the first day of training this week and it appears all the guys have recovered from the setback.

"These guys know that we need to lgo a gear up. So we are looking forward to a positive result against FC Platinum.

"I know we have beaten them twice this year and there is a danger that some players could be underrating our opponents.

"But the truth is we cannot take anything away from FC Platinum in terms of their competitiveness. They are one of the big clubs with experienced players.

"We talked about this at length and we hammered it to the players that we should be at our best if we want to win since this is a completely new game with more things at stake," said Zuze.

Driven by a pool of young, talented and hardworking players like Russel Madamombe, Osbourne Mukuradare, Hillary Mugoniwa, Tendai Ngulube, Tawanda Nyamandwe and Ronald Chitiyo, Monomotapa have had a fair outing this year.

However Zuze is worried by the unavailability of Nyamandwe who aggravated an ankle injury during last Sunday's league match against Dynamos.

The striker had been on rehabilitation after straining his ankle during training two months ago but unfortunately he could not finish the league match after putting Monomotapa ahead.

"It's sad Tawanda won't be with us. We needed him so much in this tournament because we know how much value he adds to the team.

"But we have a host of other guys who have been doing duty and we are looking forward to a competitive game," said Zuze.

Monomotapa beat FC Platinum 2-0 at home in their first meeting this year and continued their dominance at Mandava where they emerged 3-0 victors.

On paper they have a psychological advantage and they are hoping to pick up from where they left.

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