Ndiraya bullish ahead of Chiefs tie

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Tonderai Ndiraya

BY HENRY MHARA

DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya says they have put behind their last weekend defeat to Chicken Inn and are ready to turn things around when they face Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.

The Harare giants were beaten 1- 0 by the GameCocks, which was their second defeat in the league this season following another defeat to Triangle earlier in the campaign.

Prior to Chicken Inn’s match, Dynamos had dropped two points in the goalless draw away to FC Platinum.

Dropping five points against their main title rivals hurt Ndiraya and his men deeply, but he says the players have managed to overcome the setback.

“We have had a difficult week because we were coming from a very disappointing defeat at home against Chicken Inn. That defeat was so devastating considering the way we had played against FC Platinum,” Ndiraya said yesterday.

“Apart from the performance against FC Platinum, I thought the team had played well to deserve  something from the match (against Chicken Inn), but that wasn’t to be so it was heartbreaking. But as the week progressed, physiologically the team was looking stronger and it is our hope that by the time we play the game on Saturday everyone would be fully focussed on the match. The experience in the team has helped in helping particularly young players to forget about the defeat and focus on the task ahead. We normally apply what we call a 24-hour rule when you play, you forget and focus on the next assignment so we hope that we will be in the correct state of mind to play a Bulawayo Chiefs side which is very experienced, has very good players and which has started the season decently.”

Ndiraya confirmed that Ghanaian Martin Ofori had received his clearance and is available for selection in this match.

Papers for Nigerian Alex Orotomal should also be in order before the trip to Bulawayo, according to the Dynamos coach.

The duo is part of the seven new arrivals that were brought in to strengthen the squad desperately seeking to win their first league title since 2014.

Ofori’s compatriot Emmanuel Paga, who also joined the club last month, had his papers sorted early, and managed to feature against FC Platinum and Chicken Inn, where he largely impressed.

“Martin Ofori’s papers are in order, his licence is out so he should be taking part in the game that we are playing against Chiefs at Barbourfields so he should be available for selection. The management is running around for the papers for Alex and he could also join the team and be part of the squad that is travelling to Bulawayo, so I’m sure latest tomorrow (today) afternoon we should be able to hear from the management on whether they have succeeded in registering him with the relevant regulatory bodies,” Ndiraya said.

Dynamos were forced to import the three west Africans, all attackers, after what Ndiraya said was a dearth of high calibre strikers on the local market.

The club already has Cameroonian striker Albert Eonde, who joined last year.

“If you look around for a lethal striker on the local market, you will not find any so we had to import, supposedly import goals from outside, so to speak,” Ndiraya said.

The trip to Chiefs will be the first time since 2019 that Dynamos will be travelling to Bulawayo. The 2020 league season was washed away by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Their previous three visits to the country’s second largest city all ended in defeats, losing to their weekend opponent Bulawayo Chiefs, Highlanders and Chicken Inn.

Odds, therefore, are staked against Ndiraya’s men to win this one. Having dropped five points in their last two matches, where they drew against FC Platinum and were beaten by Chicken Inn last week, they cannot afford to lose more ground.

The title-chasing DeMbare are already five points off the pace with five matches played so far.

Bulawayo Chiefs have also had an indifferent start to their season.

The well-resourced side, which had a complete overhaul to its squad, has managed two wins, two draws and a defeat in its opening five matches of the season.

Bulawayo Chiefs lost to Chicken Inn before drawing with Tenax last week, and just like Dynamos, will be looking to return to winning ways so that they keep sight of the leading pack.

Premier League matchday six fixtures

Saturday: Herentals v Bulawayo City (National Sports Stadium), Yadah v Manica Diamonds (Baobab), FC Platinum v Harare City (Mandava), Bulawayo Chiefs v Dynamos (Barbourfields)

Sunday: Caps United v Whawha (National Sports Stadium), Cranborne Bullets v Black Rhinos (Baobab), Tenax v Highlanders (Sakubva), Triangle v Ngezi Platinum (Gibbo), Chicken Inn v ZPC Kariba (Luveve)

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