Ndiraya wary of Mutare City

HARARE - Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya admits they are taking nothing for granted when they face relegation-threatened Mutare City in a Castle Lager Premiership tie this afternoon at Vhengere Stadium.

Ndiraya, whose side is unbeaten in their last five matches, believes Mutare City will be driven by the desire to survive the chop at the end of the season.

Mutare City have been a different side in their last three matches in which they have held Harare City (1-1) away at Rufaro Stadium beat Shabanie Mine (2-1) before narrowly losing (3-2) to Bulawayo Chiefs in a midweek game on Wednesday.

They remain rooted at the bottom of the log with 15 points from 23 matches but despite that, Ndiraya feels today’s tie will be probably one of their toughest of their 11 remaining fixtures.

Ndiraya insists he has prepared his players for the game diligently as Ngezi Platinum try to keep pressure on title rivals FC Platinum.

“We will respect them, because it will be a really difficult game. I remember the last time we played them at home we had to sweat for maximum points. And now it’s even worse they are playing at home, ” Ndiraya told the Daily News.

“It will be a big mistake if anyone thinks this will be an easy game for us. We will do our best to get the three points.

“For me nothing changes in my work and how I prepare. All of us have one goal. It’s going to be a big game for us and once again we need to prove that we want the win more than our opponents.”

Ndiraya wants his charges to remain focused and avoid last season’s shortfalls which saw them agonisingly lose the championship. 

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

However, Ndiraya’s charges choked at the crucial stage after being held 2-2 at home by Chicken Inn before losing 2-1 to FC Platinum away at Mandava Stadium which eventually ended their title aspirations.

And just like last year, the Mhondoro-based side once again started brightly when they went for 14 games unbeaten at the start of this current campaign a period in which they managed 12 wins and two draws.

Their progress, though, was hampered when they hit a bad patch picking up four straight defeats which saw FC Platinum assuming top spot. Ndiraya was quick to remind his players on the need to stay grounded and concentrate on the job at hand.

Fixtures:

Today: Mutare City Rovers v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Vengere), Nichrut v Yadah (Ascot), Chicken Inn v ZPC Kariba (Luveve), Black Rhinos v Harare City (Postponed), Shabanie Mine v Highlanders (Postponed), Dynamos v CAPS United (Postponed), Triangle United v Bulawayo City (Gibbo)

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