CRANBORNE Bullets coach Nesbert Saruchera is looking to use the game against Dynamos to find form and put together a sequence of good results in their bid to avoid relegation from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
He is convinced that his side will pick the points they need to avoid relegation this season.
The relegation-threatened side hosts fourth placed Dynamos at Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba tomorrow, in a match he described as "the start of the crucial phase," for his team.
Three points separate Bullets from their fellow army side Black Rhinos who anchor the log standings with 14 matches remaining in the season.
But teams at the bottom are so congested that Saruchera's men are just three points behind 13th placed Simba Bhora. They are two points behind Sheasham who sit on the relegation cutoff point, which means just one win could be the difference between relegation and survival at the end of the season.
"I'm convinced we will be safe," Saruchera said when NewsDay Weekender asked him how sure he was that his team would avoid relegation at the end of the season.
"We are on position 17 for now but after four or five games, we will be talking about something else. Cranborne Bullets will not be relegated this season. Mark my words. I'm happy and convinced that we will stay up."
Bullets appear to have hit good form at the right moment. They are unbeaten in the last three matches where they beat Black Rhinos before drawing against defending champions FC Platinum and last season's runners-up Chicken Inn.
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"We have done very well in the last three games. Very few people gave us a chance to pick even a point against those three teams but we managed to get five points. We are looking to build on that and get a good result against Dynamos. Winning against Dynamos will be a start of a crucial stage for us as we bid to avoid relegation. It can be done," Saruchera said confidently before explaining that the next four matches after this weekend's will be "season defining" for Bullets.
After Dynamos, the army side has a run of four matches against sides who are also embroiled in the relegation battle.
They play Yadah away next week before games against Hwange (home), Sheasham (away) and Simba Bhora (home).
Saruchera believes how his side will perform in those matches could be season defining.
Cranborne Bullets had a terrible run of form in July, where they lost all their five matches.
"We lost a number of players during the mid-season transfer window. We then had to replace them with some youngsters, some of whom had not played Premier league football before. It took some time for the players to get used to each other but the team has gelled and we are playing our best football again. Even the results in the last few games are a testament to that," Saruchera said.
Some of the notable figures that left the club at the start of July are captain Tadiwa Chibunyu who went to Chicken Inn, Eric Manokore who joined Caps United and Kudakwashe Chidhonza who moved to division one side Moors.
Turning to the game against Dynamos, Saruchera expects a tough match against the Genesis Mangombe-coached side.
But it's a duel that he is looking forward to.
"They are the biggest club in the country, the former champion. So, it's always exciting to play against them. The players and everyone here are motivated to face Dynamos.
"They (Dynamos) have been doing well of late, but I feel we can beat them. We have not won a match at Nyamhunga since we moved there, but I feel we will get our first three points this weekend."
Dynamos are unbeaten in their last four matches where they won twice. The title-chasing Harare giants, who are desperate for points for a totally different reason from Bullets, will also be looking to return to winning ways after they were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Tonderai Ndiraya's Simba Bhora last week.
Cranborne Bullets have had a bad start to life at Nyamhunga since switching to that venue for their home matches following the closure for renovations of the National Sports Stadium.
They have played four matches at the Kariba venue, losing three against ZPC Kariba, Herentals and Ngezi Platinum Stars before drawing with FC Platinum the last time out.
Saruchera will once again be without experienced defender Moreblessing Mushangwe who has been ruled for between four to six weeks with an injury he picked against Fc Platinum.
Prince Mutasa and Aaron Makuwerere are struggling with knocks, and will both have to pass a late fitness test to feature against Dynamos tomorrow.
Matchday 21 fixtures
Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Fc Platinum (Luveve), Sheasham v Hwange (Bata), Simba Bhora v Yadah (Baobab), Cranborne Bullets v Dynamos (Nyamhunga), Herentals v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Mandava), Manica Diamonds v GreenFuel (Gibbo)
Tomorrow: Highlanders v Chicken Inn (Barbourfields), Triangle v Zpc Kariba (Gibbo), Caps United v Black Rhinos (Bata)