Technical manager Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh and his technical staff will not lose sleep over Prince Dube’s unavailability for the Castle Larger Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches against Yadah and bitter rivals Dynamos on Thursday and Sunday respectively.
Bosso host Yadah at Barbourfields stadium before traveling to Harare for a clash with Dynamos at Rufaro stadium.
Dube who enjoys a rich vain of form and has scored 13 goals for club and country was given a controversial red card against ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga stadium by referee Tatenda Bvekerwa.
de Jongh who insists the 22-year-old forward did not deserve to be sent off on the day put up a brave face and told journalists during the team’s pre-match press conference held at Highlanders office that although his side will miss Dube, there are a lot of players with quality on his side who can help Bosso post good results against Yadah and Dynamos.
The free-scoring Dube was on target for the club, and put up one of his best performances of the season so far as Highlanders drubbed defending league champions FC Platinum 3-0 in the quarter-final of the Cibuku Super Cup played at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Denzel Khumalo scored a beautiful second goal before Tinashe Makanda found himself at the end of a beautiful counter-attack orchestrated by Dube to kill the game as a contest in the 87th minute.
“We scored three times, and Prince scored only once – the first goal from a penalty kick. We have players who can soldier on. Prince is a very good player, for me there is no discussion about that, I think even for most people. I have more players who can do good work. He is not available so we must look at what is best, and I have ideas how we can do that,” said de Jongh.
The coach also could not hide his admiration of Khumalo, adding that the 21-year-old who had a first half of the season to forget, is technically gifted and he has been recovering his shape of late.
“On Sunday we started with Denzel (Khumalo), and you asked about Denzel; why did I start with Denzel in the line-up, my answer was simple, Denzel in my opinion is one of the best players in the team, whatever people say is not important, what is important for me is my opinion,”
“If you look for basic qualities, shooting with both legs, positional discipline, I saw it long ago that he is one of the best, he can shoot with his left, he can shoot with his right. For me its is not important how his past was, he is one of the best players. You can ask me why he didn’t play earlier; he was two-three kilos heavier, he lost three kilos now, they make a big difference those three kilos. He is now in a better shape,” said de Jongh.
Prior to the Sunday match, Khumalo had been relegated to the terraces due to lack of fitness, after having only featured in two games for Highlanders this season.
He started against Black Rhinos before being pulled out in the opening match of the season and on Match Day Eight when he came in as a second half substitute in the 0-0 draw against Herentals.
The talented Khumalo had fallen down the pecking order in the attacking midfield role where Divine Mhindirira had been regular feature, until he got injured during the team’s 2-0 victory over Chicken Inn early this month.