THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League 2018 mid-season break has come and gone and it is back to normal business, with clubs pursuing different goals as they seek to finish the campaign with a flourish.
For beleaguered Mutare City Rovers, preserving their Premiership status — which is precariously hanging by the thread as they anchor the 18-team table — is the primary objective. Having failed to amass as much points as the number of games they have played — 11 out of 17 — will they plot a great comeback, claw their way out of the drop zone and escape to eventual safety?
With interim coach Ndega Matsika having expressed delight at the mid-season break as a blessing, will it bring with it some respite to their thus far trouble campaign? But will the ex-goalie last the distance in the hot seat, with Kennedy Kachara and Joseph Takaringofa before him having been deemed not good enough for the job and ushered out? Or there is a Joshua waiting on the peripheries to deliver Mutare City Rovers to the Promised Land?
Or will this be another hello-and-goodbye ephemeral encounter in the Premiership where they do not last beyond the season they get promoted as was the case during their debut campaign in 2016? That the last time they were in this precarious position GushaBhora did not make it out of danger but eventually got relegated should be cause for concern. Again, history in this division has not favoured but frowned upon teams that find themselves at the bottom of the log at this juncture of the campaign as virtually all have gone on to go down; demotion has been inevitable.
Will the second half of the season bring with it renewed vigour and an upturn in fortunes for Mutare City Rovers?
It is not all doom and gloom, however, for the municipality side because their defence is not the worst; neither is their strike-force, which both, if they score goals and avoid conceding, should win them games. A glimmer of hope is still flickering at the end of their dark tunnel if every member of the family from the players, technical staff and executive play their respective roles and bit parts while pulling in the same direction through collective effort for this is a shared responsibility.
Just a single win, given that results elsewhere go their way will give them a huge lift. The good thing is that they still have to play each of all the teams above them and they simply have to make the most of each game by grinding out results good enough for their cause. Mutare City Rovers can, therefore, still pull it out of the fire; they are still in it and can still get it.
Survival is still a feasible feat. Nothing is impossible if the team gives everything to this quest. It is still there, it could be theirs. All thy need is just a pugnacious punch and push on.
Should they do some business during the transfer window which opened Sunday, will it be tidy enough to see the additions they make to the team to improving their lot and become richer in quality and depth? Also, will the ones they lose during the same period leave them all the poorer?
Meanwhile, time and tide will wait for no team that continues to lag behind as the league meanders towards the business end.
And it is high time the boys pulled their weight; it is time they gathered some momentum and picked some precious points. With proper application, good and effective game management as well as endurance they may come right.
Can Mutare City Rovers turn the tide?
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