Ndiraya sends chilling warning to rivals

HARARE - Tonderai Ndiraya has sent a chilling warning to Ngezi Platinum Stars’ Castle Lager Premiership title rivals by claiming his charges “will get even better”.

The Mhondoro-Ngezi platinum miners thrust themselves among favourites to wrestle the championship from FC Platinum after starting their season with four straight wins to go top of the table with 12 points.

Ndiraya’s charges opened their campaign with a 2-0 home win against newboys Herentals before following it up with a 0-2 victory over Triangle United while also beating giants Dynamos 1-0 and on Monday, they maintained their 100 percent with a narrow 0-1 win over Nichrut.

It is an improvement by Ngezi Platinum from their last year’s performance in which they won their opening three matches only to lose on their fourth outing to the then newly-promoted Yadah. 

However, Ndiraya reckons there is still room for improvement. 

“The team is doing well and the new players are slowly adjusting to the system. I think we can even get better,” Ndiraya said to the Daily News. 

“The performances are improving by each passing game and I hope the focus will be maintained in our future assignments.”

After finishing third last season behind FC Platinum and Dynamos, Ngezi are hoping to launch a sustainable title challenge this season.

For the better part of the season, the results had favoured the Ngezi Platinum miners and many had tipped them to walk away with the title in their second year in the top flight league only to choke at the crucial stages.

Ndiraya, however, while eager to fight for the title, was also quick to remind his charges to stay grounded and take it each game at a time.

“While we have made it clear that we are vying for the championship, we also don’t need to put a lot of pressure on our shoulders,” he said.

“We have started well but we need to keep working hard. We need to go game by game.

“Premier League everybody knows is difficult and it’s a long way to go. We have laid a good foundation and we now need to take it up from there with the same spirit.”

Elsewhere, Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas is happy with how things have gone so far for his charges. The Gamecocks have since managed three wins and a draw in their opening four matches to sit third on the log table tied on 10 points with second-placed FC Platinum.

For Antipas, consistency will be key going forward.

“We are taking each game as it comes. What’s important is consistency. We just have to get ourselves to concentrate and have the mentality and attitude,” Antipas said following his team’s 3-0 destruction of Shabanie Mine.

Shabanie Mine coach Takesure Chiragwi is also pleased with his team’s progress despite losing 3-0 to Chicken Inn in their last match.

“I am happy with how my boys are playing so far. These are youngsters and surely, I cannot fault them for losing to such an experienced side like Chicken Inn,” Chiragwi said.

“We are in another re-building exercise and I think we are going somewhere. Of course, there are some areas we still need to work on and I am confident we will bounce back in our next assignments.

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