Ndiraya chooses substance over style

BY HENRY MHARA

DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya has said the team’s fans will have to wait a bit longer for them to see his charges play pretty.

The fans have criticised the team’s lacklustre performance, even though they have been getting the results.

In response, Ndiraya said the players, who had been idle for over a year until the return to action through the Cup competition, are not yet fit enough to start entertaining.

He emphasised that what is important for them is to get the results that will take them to the next stage of the competition.

DeMbare have never won the Chibuku Super Cup and have made it their goal to end the dry run.

Save for the match against Yadah when they went on to score four goals, they haven’t really wowed.

Their clash against Caps United in the big Harare derby last weekend had promised to be a thriller, but it just wasn’t as easy on the eye.

There were some good moments though, but the match never really got into second gear and that attracted a lot of criticism.

Ahead of the Chibuku Super Cup Group 1 match against Lloyd Chitembwe’s Harare City, Ndiraya says he is not worried about the critics.

Instead, the former DeMbare midfielder says he is prioritising substance over style due to the current physical condition of his players.

“Of course, I understand people want us to win every match beautifully, but our main objective is to qualify (to the quarterfinals),” Ndiraya told NewsDay Sport.

“That is what we are fighting for. If we get points on Saturday, we will be right on track in terms of qualifying to the next round. This is a cup competition, so yes we want to play beautiful football, but what is important at the end of the day is the result. How you get the result doesn’t really matter.

“This is not a marathon, it’s a game of points and that is what we are fighting for. We might want to entertain our fans by playing good football, but the target is to qualify for the quarterfinals.”

Local football was put on hold the whole of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ndiraya said it would take some time before the players could hit the expected fitness levels and performance.

“We continue to appeal for patience from the fans. These boys have been lying idle for a long time and it’s really been difficult for them in terms of fitness. We want the boys to get back to full fitness so that they can give us all what we are looking for, that is quality football. At the moment, I’m afraid to say that we will not get that until the boys get back to full fitness,” said Ndiraya, who is angling to win the Cup for the second time having won it with Ngezi Platinum Stars in 2016.

Ndiraya lost in the final of the same competition the previous year to Harare City when he was coaching Dynamos.

His side is well on course for a spot in the quarterfinals of the competition as they currently lead Group 1 with eight points, followed by Caps United who have six points.

Harare City have the same number of points as United, but occupy third position because of an inferior goal difference.

ZPC Kariba have five points while Herentals and Yadah are tied on two points at the bottom going into the last matches of the first round games this weekend.

With the teams still to play each other in the second round, all the teams feel that they still stand a chance of qualifying to the next stage.

Only the top two teams of the group after the second round of matches qualify to the quarterfinals.

Chibuku Super Cup Group 1 weekend fixtures

Tomorrow: Herentals v Yadah (11am), Dynamos v Harare City (3pm).

Sunday: ZPC Kariba v Caps United (1pm)

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