Ndiraya confronts small teams ghost

NGEZI Platinum Stars have recorded six defeats in the league this season, with five of those coming against the so-called smaller teams.


The Mhondoro-Ngezi-based title chasing team has lost to Bulawayo Chiefs, Black Rhinos, Herentals (both in the league and in the Chibuku Super Cup), Mutare City and Yadah.

The only big team that managed to beat them is FC Platinum.

They also dropped two points against second from the bottom side Shabanie Mine. Had the Tonderai Ndiraya-coached side managed to collect maximum points against those smaller teams, they could well be cruising towards the title.

Having easily won against the traditional giants Dynamos, Caps United and Highlanders and also beating Triangle this term, it is their form against the smaller teams that is threatening Ngezi Platinum Stars’ chances of a probable title win.

After beating Caps United 2-1 in the midweek fixtures in a victory that saw them closing the gap on leaders FC Platinum to just two points, a trip to basement Bulawayo City today is the last thing that Ndiraya would have wanted.

“Dropping points against small teams has been us this season, I have spoken with the players and I’m expecting a response, and a different attitude going forward. This is a home stretch, we can’t afford to drop any points anymore, so I’m just hoping that in the next game we are playing against Bulawayo City, we apply ourselves the same manner we do against big teams. That has been our problem and I’m hoping that we change,” Ndiraya said.

“I’m worried about the next match coming, clearly worried because it’s another small team which is bottom of the log. It’s a team that hasn’t won in a long time and those are the teams which are giving us problems, giving us sleepless nights, and I hope we will work hard and get maximum points. We have lost a lot of points against small teams, 15 points, and that’s quite massive. That is where our worry is. I don’t doubt my boys against big teams; they tend to rise to the occasion, but it’s the small teams that are giving us trouble and we have to get our act together. We have to approach the game against Bulawayo City with a sober mind, and make sure we go there and collect maximum points.”

With just 16 points on the board for City, their fate in the league appears to be sealed. If they lose today, they will officially be relegated.

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