The Dynamos trio of Simba Nhivi, Archford Gutu and Evans Katema are set to return from injury-related layoffs to boost the team’s otherwise faltering Castle Lager Premier Soccer League campaign.
BY KEVIN MAPASURE
Nhivi is set to start full training today, while Katema and Gutu will be assessed first before they train with the rest of the team.
During the trio’s absence, DeMbare have been slipping further from the leading pack and after their fifth draw on the trot at the weekend, the Tonderai Ndiraya-coached side found themselves 11 points adrift of table toppers Caps United.
About six weeks ago, Dynamos seemed to have put themselves into contention for the league title, but following injuries to the trio, DeMbare have been struggling for form.
Their draw against relegation-threatened Bulawayo Chiefs was their 12th of the campaign and only TelOne and Herentals who both have 13, have drawn more matches so far this season.
Caps United, at the top, have lost more matches than DeMbare and Ndiraya bemoaned his team’s failure to win matches particularly at home.
“One can only imagine what could have been if we had won just three of the matches that we have drawn,” he said.
“We take the lead and give it away. You can’t win matches when you can’t defend a lead. I hope we can address that. But sometimes, it goes back to individual quality and lack of leadership.”
The DeMbare mentor said his team has been lacking in quality during the time the trio of Katema, Gutu and Nhivi have been out injured.
“It has been difficult. The team looks ordinary without Gutu, Evans and Simba. When we lost them through injuries, we sort of went back to where we were before we brought them in during the mid-season transfer window,” Ndiraya said.
“Simba should start training on Tuesday (today). We will be assessing Evans to see if he can start training and we are also hoping Gutu can also return to full training. Their return should give us the creativity and the cutting edge we have been lacking. We have lost some ground, but we can recover. There are 27 points that will be at stake for us.”
While DeMbare have one of the best defensive records, their conversion up-front is one of the worst in the league.
Only four times have DeMbare scored more than one goal in a single match so far and they only managed more than two goals when they beat Herentals 3-2 back in August.
Their last defeat came against Highlanders back in June, but they have had more draws than wins, which has complicated their push for the league title.
With title-chasing teams battling for consistency, there was a window for DeMbare to get into title contention, but their chances are sinking in the welter of draws they are picking week in, week out.