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Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS are badly handicapped ahead of the resumption of their relegation fight with some key players missing for their Castle Lager Premiership battle against army side Black Rhinos at Rufaro on Sunday. The Glamour Boys are likely to march into combat without almost half a dozen regular players, mostly defenders, as injuries and suspensions take a huge toll on interim coach Lloyd Chigowe’s efforts to rescue the team from relegation.
Central defenders Godfrey Mukambi and James Marufu are suspended after amassing three yellow cards each while Phakamani Dube, who has been one of their outstanding players in defence, remains doubtful after missing training this week due to sickness.
Another defender Jimmy Tigere was also conspicuous by his absence at yesterday’s training as he has reportedly accompanied his wife, who is not feeling well, abroad to seek medical treatment.
Their captain Ocean Mushure is still AWOL. Midfielder Denver Mukamba has since resumed training but was also reported to be struggling with a hamstring injury.
But Chigowe yesterday said DeMbare are up for the task. The lanky coach also said Dynamos supporters should continue supporting his efforts as he believes he cannot achieve the goal alone despite making a promising start into the job.
Dynamos last week moved from the relegation zone and took a two-point cushion after beating old rivals CAPS United 2-1 in the rescheduled Harare Derby at Rufaro.
The win ended a five-match barren run and Chigowe is confident the giants will not sink, with five games remaining.
“I just want to disown the statement that I am a Messiah. I cannot be equated to Jesus Christ. He was too holy. Obviously I have got a job to do and I believe I can do it. Of course, there is also need for Divine intervention.
“But going forward Rhinos are tricky opponents. We are trying as best as possible to come out with the best combinations under the circumstances because we have got some suspensions that have affected our team.
“Two of our key players Godfrey Mukambi and James Marufu are suspended for this game and, as it were, we were already depleted given the absence of Ocean Mushure and some of the injuries we already have.
“Phakamani is critically ill. He has not been able to train this whole week and we have to make an adjustment about that one. But it is now for the other guys who will be called up to show that they are really made to be Dynamos players.
“Denver is training, he also has a hamstring challenge and we have rested him for today’s (yesterday) training. Hopefully by tomorrow (today) he might have recovered.
“Whether he starts or not, it will depend on his physical condition. But in our state now we will accommodate anyone because we are depleted.
“Having said that, we have registered more than 20 players. We should be able to put up a team that will compete and fight with pride and honour.
“I think Rhinos, if they are lucky, might be the only team lucky to face a depleted Dynamos otherwise after this it will be guns blazing against any other opponent coming our way,” said Chigowe.
DeMbare are fighting on two fronts, as they are also set to go in the hat this afternoon for the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final draw.
They made it to the last four along with Triangle, CAPS United and defending champions Harare City.
While their main aim is to survive the chop, DeMbare are also keen to finish with a consolation silverware.
“It’s tricky Harare City, they edged us home and away in our league encounters. Triangle gave us a torrid time when we went to Gibbo and CAPS United will be itching for revenge so we will accept whatever comes out of the draw and prepare thoroughly,” said Chigowe.
Their opponents Black Rhinos will also be without their captain Bruce Homora who is also suspended this week because of yellow cards.
Also suspended this weekend is Mutare City goalkeeper Alfred Chiname, Humphrey Ncube, Tatenda Tavengwa (both Bulawayo City), Washington Kahuni, Peter Muzondo (both Shabanie Mine) and the CAPS United duo of Joel Ngodzo and Justice Jangano.
Tomorrow: ZPC Kariba v CAPS United (Nyamhunga), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Chapungu (Baobab), Nichrut v FC Platinum (Ascot), Chicken Inn v Bulawayo Chiefs (Luveve).
Sunday: Mutare City Rovers v Yadah (Vengere), Dynamos v Black Rhinos (Rufaro), Triangle United v Herentals (Gibbo), Highlanders v Bulawayo City (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Harare City (Maglas).