City look up to Samanja

HARARE City coach Philani Ncube has praised Tendai Samanja for the progress he has made under his guidance so far and expects the midfielder to play a leading role when they face CAPS United in a Castle Lager Premiership match on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.

Ncube, who arrived at the Sunshine Boys last month, has singled out the midfielder’s tactical understanding and co-operation with colleagues as traits which led him to hand the armband to the former CAPS United midfield hardman as they battle for premiership survival.

The former How Mine gaffer believes Samanja is slowly coming of age by providing a positive edge that could be crucial in the team’s push to climb up the ladder. “He is an intelligent player whose probing presence at the hub of the midfield is invaluable to the group,” Ncube said to the Weekend Post.

“He has done really well so far, let’s hope he keeps his feet on the ground and keeps on improving and hopefully he will understand more and more what we have been trying to do in terms of our team play.

“His presence on the field of play has been crucial to us lately. I’m very happy that we have got him here. He can make a difference.

“A player that can think on the field, a player that can read the game… he’s got that ability. He will be able to fill gaps and start attacks with his intelligence and reading of the game.”

Harare City lost 0-1 to Yadah in a midweek fixture in a match in which they created a couple of scoring chances only to stutter in the final third where their strikers took turns to squander opportunities.

Ncube, however, while disappointed, felt there were actually a lot positives as they prepare for Sunday’s match against CAPS United.

“We had a good chance of wrapping up that game. You know in football sometimes you need luck and it appears against Yadah, it was not our side,” said Ncube.

“The good thing though is that we are getting into those places and finishing is one area that we want to work on as we prepare for our next match. It’s important that we finish off matches because you are bound to be punished if you don’t score goals.

“I was going to be really worried if we were not playing well but our performance is very encouraging.”
Ncube reckons their match against CAPS United is a must win.

“We need to win this match; there are no two ways about that. We cannot afford to drop more points. I know it will not be an easy match because CAPS United are also desperate for maximum points,” he said.

“We just need to play our usual game without putting ourselves under pressure. There is need for us to stay focused for the entire game. We don’t want to focus much on what is happening at CAPS United at the moment. We only need to focus on those things that are within our control.”

City will no doubt be desperate to bounce back to winning ways following back-to-back defeats having also lost to How Mine in their last match before the break which was followed by Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Yadah.

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