Ndiraya remains calm

HARARE - It's only four games into the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season but today’s clash between log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars and Chicken Inn at Baobab Stadium already promises to be a humdinger.

Ngezi Platinum carry a 100 percent record into today’s match having won all their first four matches, without conceding a single goal, beating Herentals (2-0), Triangle (2-0), Dynamos (1-0) and Nichrut (1-0).

That perfect start to the season has seen Tonderai Ndiraya’s men occupy top spot on the log standings.

Chicken Inn’s start to the new campaign has also been impressive following three wins against Dynamos (1-0), Mutare City (2-1) and Shabanie Mine (3-0).

The Gamecocks dropped points in their second game of the season when they were held to a goalless draw against new boys Nichrut.

Following the outstanding start to the new season, Ndiraya is fully aware of the tough task that lies ahead for his side against Chicken Inn.

“We are facing a Chicken Inn side which is a very difficult team. They are former champions and are being coached by a great coach in Joey Antipas and that makes them very dangerous,” Ndiraya said ahead of the match.

“In fact, we expect all the games we play at this level to be tough and I must say all the four matches that we have played so far have been very difficult for us but we had to dig deep, the players had to fight hard and collect maximum points.

“They have a lot of experience within their ranks and that is exactly what we are planning with in mind. We are expecting a very tough match but of course we have had a very good home run in the past and we hope to continue with the same run.

“We have had little time to prepare after having played away during the gruelling Easter programme which obviously took a lot of energy out of our players. But trust me we are prepared.”

The former Dynamos coach is, however, confident that his charges will rise to the occasion and match the former champions man for man.

“I think we are also a good side in our own right considering the way we have started this season. We have the arsenal; our team is now starting to believe so we are prepared in all aspects and expecting a very interesting and exciting match,” Ndiraya said.

“I don’t think we are under any sort of pressure going into this game. We expect the good run at home to continue. We will take the fight to Chicken Inn when they come here. We want to capitalise on home advantage and that should push us to get the result.

“We are very fortunate; we do not have any injury worries expect for Godknows Murwira who we expect to pass a late fitness test, he was involved in a freak car accident after our match against Nichrut last Monday. But he is available for selection.”

In another match this afternoon, Bulawayo City host Black Rhinos at Barbourfields Stadium with both teams hoping to get back to winning ways.

City lost 1-0 to champions FC Platinum in their last outing on Easter Monday while Rhinos went down 2-0 to CAPS United a day earlier.

At Rufaro Stadium, Harare City host new boys Bulawayo Chiefs while across town at the National Sports Stadium, Yadah FC take on Triangle.

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