Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
FC PLATINUM coach, Lizwe Sweswe, says he will be rotating his squad to manage the players’ fitness levels in the wake of a bumper schedule his team is facing.
The reigning champions have played non-stop football for the past two years and have another intense programme on three fronts.
They have booked a place in the CAF Champions’ League group stages and they are also in the race for the league title for the third season running.
But, before they entertain in-form Yadah in the Premiership on Saturday, they face Midlands rivals Chapungu in a rescheduled Chibuku Super Cup first round tie at Mandava. The country’s CAF Confederation Cup representatives, Triangle, entertain Herentals at Gibbo in another Chibuku Super Cup first round tie at Gibbo this afternoon.
“We are fighting on three different fronts. We are in the mix for the Premiership and we will have to make a statement in the Chibuku Super Cup,’’ said Sweswe.
“We are also participating in the CAF Champions League. It’s energy-sapping and we have to manage the players’ loading and recovery periods.
“It’s quiet difficult and the matches are coming fast and we need to produce results, so rotation is the only way to go.”
FC Platinum were eliminated at the same stage by the same opponents in the Chibuku Super Cup in the past two seasons.
“For the past two years, it has been always Chapungu who have eliminated us,’’ said Sweswe.
“We are approaching this match with some caution. Of course, they are a very good team who are capable of beating anyone on their day.
“They are especially good in Cup competitions.
“We have a group of players with the hunger to win trophies. We cannot afford to take anything for granted.
“We are determined, as a team, to win all the games we play. But Chapungu are strong, mentally and technically.’’
Sweswe was elevated to take temporary charge of the team after Norman Mapeza stepped down a fortnight ago.
Mapeza has since joined struggling South African Premiership side Chippa United where he was officially unveiled yesterday.
Mapeza will be hoping to take the two-week break in the league to get to know his players before his first match against Highlands Park on October 26.
“We will have a chance to see the players and also understand the environment. Everyone knows our situation at the moment, we just need to work extra hard, have belief and that zeal to achieve the club’s objectives for us to survive relegation,” said Mapeza.
Chibuku Super Cup Fixtures
Today: Triangle v Herentals (Gibbo)
Tomorrow: FC Platinum v Chapungu (Mandava)