BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya says the team’s recent two defeats in a row is “quite concerning”, but insists they can overcome the mini slump.
Defeats to FC Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final and Triangle in a league match put question marks on the Glamour Boys’ pedigree.
Ndiraya, though, says he is not panicking and has urged his boys to rediscover their spark when they clash with Cranborne Bullets in their rescheduled round three fixture at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
The match should have been played last week, but was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the clubs.
“We didn’t expect it (defeats) to happen so soon but there is no panic at all,” Ndiraya said. “We still have a lot of time to recover and the season is still very long. Of course, it’s concerning to lose two games in a row but if you look at the fixtures, they were not easy for us. There were a lot of things which happened in the build-up to those two games.”
Ndiraya blamed the defeats to fatigue after they were made to travel to Triangle twice for the match.
A referees’ boycott on November 17 meant Dynamos’ initial long trip to the Lowveld was in vain. The fixture was played 10 days later, with Patson Jaure’s own goal settling the scores.
In between, the Harare giants played against FC Platinum, losing 1-0 to an Innocent Mucheneka thunderbolt.
“FC Platinum played four games less than us so the travelling and the fatigue because of the many games that we had played really put us at a huge disadvantage,” Ndiraya said.
Dynamos were without one of their star players Shadreck Nyahwa through suspension, something which he says also contributed to the defeat by FC Platinum.
“We played four games more than the other groups (in the Chibuku Super Cup group matches) and I thought the Premier Soccer League came short in that (suspension rule) regard. You can’t then put us at the same level with the other groups in terms of suspension. Our players were at more risk of picking cards because they played more games.
Jaure’s own goal was the third that a Dynamos player has scored in his own net this season. The team has conceded just four goals in all competitions this term.
“If you see how we conceded the goal (against Triangle), it was really a matter of fatigue more than anything else. We don’t normally concede in such a way. It’s public knowledge that it’s really difficult to visit Triangle and come out with a full set of points.”
Ndiraya is hoping for a positive result from his side tomorrow, and believes the three weeks break since they last played has given his players time to recover.
“We just have to work on our mentality and after such a setback that is when we want to see if our team has character or not. Naturally you need to recover from such a scenario and hopefully we can recover in our next match.
“The (break) gave us enough time to recover and it put us in a very good position to fight for points. It gave us ample time to re-energise and we hope to give it our all in the next match.”
“We are expecting a huge challenge as always. All the teams that play Dynamos raise their game no matter their stature. Dynamos never plays an easy match, they are all difficult. We are the most popular team in the country and when you do well against Dynamos it means you are going to get much more publicity, so I expect the Cranborne Bullets players to be really at their best. It will not be an easy game but we hope to win.”
The army side, who were promoted into the topflight this season, are no pushovers. Just like Dynamos, they also fell at the semi-final stage of the Chibuku competition, losing 1-0 to Ngezi Platinum Stars.
“Physically, Cranborne players look better than most of the teams in the league so that is a huge challenge for us. We expect them to be aggressive so we have prepared our team physically and psychologically so that they are in a good place to fight for points and recover from a setback that we have had in the past two matches,” Ndiraya said.
Matchday three (rescheduled fixtures)
Today: Whawha v Bulawayo City (Ascot), ZPC Kariba v Triangle (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Manica Diamonds v Highlanders (Sakubva), Dynamos v Craneborne (National Sports Stadium)
Chicken Inn v Tenax, Black Rhinos v Caps United, Bulawayo Chiefs v FC Platinum
- Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara