Baptism of fire awaits Njombe Mji when they take on rejuvenated Young Africans in the Mainland Premier League match at the Uhuru Stadium today.
Yanga have been in imperious form recently. They ended Azam FC’s hopes of going through the season without losing with a 2-1 win at Azam Complex in one of their last two matches.
They also eased to a 2-0 win against Lipuli in Iringa last week to move three steps up the ladder in the top flight, and put their campaign back on track.
Currently, the Jangwani Street giants sit third in the league table with 31 points from 16 games, seven adrift of leaders Simba and two behind second-placed Azam FC.
However, Yanga assistant coach Shadrack Nsajigwa has told his players to forget about the statistics and focus on the task in hand.
“You can look back on a season after the season, not during. It’s not important,” Nsajigwa said yesterday.
“We are well prepared for the match. I see the players responding positively to our instructions, that’s the truth, that’s why we can play like we have played so far,” he added.
Yanga will wrest the second spot from Azam for at least 24 hours if they overcome Njombe, who are at the bottom of the 16-team league with 13 points from 16 outings.
Azam and pace-setters Simba are not in action today.
Yanga striker Obrey Chirwa and attacking midfielder Pius Buswita are among players Njombe Mji must mark tightly if they are to avoid humiliation.
No easy games
“We have to do it again. As a Yanga player you cannot perform one week and then two weeks not –- we need to deliver consistently, every day and each game,” Shadrack said.
“It’s only the next game and I can’t imagine any easy games in the Mainland Premier League. Tomorrow’s match is, for sure, not an easy game.
“Mji are at the bottom of the table. They will, therefore, be seeking a win to revive their hopes of avoiding relegation,” he said.
Njombe Mji coach Mrage Kabange predicted a tough match, but warned Yanga not to expect an easy ride.
“If we just care about our opponents we will not play, so we will try to make it difficult for them,” Kabange said.
“But like other big teams, they also have some weak points, very few, but we must try to fight against the strong points they have,” he added.