EVEN at the risk of being labelled “cry babies” looking for an easy way out in the aftermath of a horrible continental football run, FC Platinum have bemoaned playing their home matches “away from home in Bulawayo”.
FC Platinum’s defensive frailties were laid bare by continental giants Étoile du Sahel after a 3-0 thumbing at Barbourfields Stadium last Saturday.
Coach Lizwe Sweswe even described all goals as very soft goals, a statement that can be interpreted as a gaffer taking a jab at his defenders for sleeping on duty at Emagumeni.
Club chairman Evans Mthombeni is of the view that playing away from home in Mandava is also contributing to the lukewarm performances that are slowly creeping into Pure Platinum Play’s DNA.
The FC Platinum boss believes Caf’s decision to bar Mandava Stadium from hosting Champions League football is depriving them the 12th man and their fans the privilege of enjoying continental football.
“We are the only team that is not playing home games at our conventional home ground and that is obviously forcing our fans to dig deep into their pockets to travel to Bulawayo.
“It’s not possible for us to get the huge number of fans that we really need to fully get behind the players, the same number of fans that we see if we are playing at Mandava Stadium.
“I believe we could be in a different position had we been playing at home, the players know the turf, the support from our loyal fans would have been massive compared to the numbers that we get at Barbourfields,” said Mthombeni.
He also hinted the team could go into the market to beef up the squad ahead of their clash against another continental giant Al Ahly SC of Egypt.
“We have three slots that we can fill and the technical team have come up with three players that they are interested in so we will see how we can tie those players down,” he added.
FC Platinum have four remaining matches in the Caf Champions’ League group stages and need to pick up vital points for a chance to qualify into the quarter-finals of the competition.