‘Respect the opponents, but don’t give them too much respect’

Highlanders technical manager Madinda Ndlovu is pleased with the team’s type of play, and insists they will not change their approach against city neighbours Chicken Inn on Saturday.

The two sides lock horns in a Castle Larger Premier Soccer League (PSL) match day seven fixture at Barbourfields stadium.

Highlanders have not been rewarded with a win for their beautiful attacking football which Ndlovu insists his side will continue playing and eventually find the winning formular.

The Bulawayo giants have so far lost two, and drew four of their opening six matches, while on the other hand, Chicken In have won four and lost twice.

Bosso have lost to Harare City and Triangle United FC, drawing with army side Black Rhinos, CAPS United, league debatants Mushowani Stars, and returnees Hwange FC.

Highlanders’ biggest undoing has been failure to convert their chances into goals as they have scored only two goals heading to match day seven.

The only goals came from goalkeeper and captain Ariel Sibanda who scored from the spot in the team’s 1-1 draw with Black Rhinos, and Prince Dube who scored against Harare City in a match which Bosso went on to lose 1-3.

Chicken Inn have had a good run, losing only to FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars and collecting maximum points against ZPC Kariba, Yadah FC, Dynamos and Manica Diamonds.

Addressing journalists at the club offices during a weekly press conference of Thursday, Ndlovu said his team will not read much into the current form, but will go into the match to prove that Highlanders is a big club.

“We respect Chicken Inn not because of the position that they are holding right now, but we respect them as a team that plays in the elite league,”

“Its a local derby, local derbies are always tricky, so it is the fight of the city and we will have to make sure that we remain the big boys in this city,”

“I predict an explosive kind of a game. Chicken Inn have new players acquired from other clubs, very seasoned players and pacey players for that matter. We also worked on that aspect and worked on our attacking flair which will involve probably a lot of speed,” said Ndlovu.

Asked whether the team will change the approach on Saturday, Ndlovu said his technical bench will not make a lot of changes, also adding that although they respect their opponents, they will not be giving them too much respect on the pitch.

“When you change approaches you lose focus. We have one philosophy, we have one approach to the game, and as I said, respect the opponents but don’t give them too much respect,” added Ndlovu.

Last season Bosso and the Gamecocks played to an action packed 2-2 draw in the first leg, before Chicken Inn claimed the bragging rights in the second leg, beating their city rivals 3-2.

Highlanders will however, not read much into those results, as they approach they go to this match knowing that the win against Chicken Inn will lift up their spirits, and that of their supporters after an unusual start to the season.

When they were going through a bad spell in 2017, Highlanders went on to register their biggest victory over Chicken on October 1, crushing the Gamecocks’ championship dream.

They beat the Rahman Gumbo coached Chicken Inn 4-0 courtesy of a Simon Munawa brace and goals from Ralph Matema and Godfrey Makaruse, condemning the Gamecocks to a third league defeat in a row after losing to Yadah and Caps United.

In that particular encounter, Chicken Inn wanted nothing short of a win to keep their hopes of a title alive, but Bosso turned on the heat and shuttered their neighbours’ championship hopes, reducing the race to a three horse race between eventual winners FC Platinum, first runners up Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars.

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