Ngezi under pressure to win

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BY HENRY MHARA
NGEZI Platinum Stars seemed almost invincible at the start of the season, but back-to-back draws have left interim coach Takesure Chiragwi under pressure.

Tomorrow’s trip to Triangle is a chance to halt the winless run after they were held by Yadah and Caps United in consecutive weeks.

The club, touted as one of the favourites to win the league title this season, has lost its lustre and its executive is reported to have lost trust in Chiragwi.

It announced last week that it was on the hunt for a new coach to replace Rodwell Dhlakama, which was a position shift after it had earlier gave assurances that “Chiragwi is well equipped to lead the team”.

It is reported that the club’s top hierarchy held a crisis meeting at their Baobab Stadium following the Yadah draw, where Chiragwi’s “situation” was discussed.

It was the performance, rather than the scoreline, that reportedly left the executive members concerned.

The youthful coach admitted that he was under pressure, and said he was frustrated by the team’s lack of goals in recent matches.

“There is always pressure in football, whether you are winning or losing, because there is no way you can prepare the game to lose. Every coach prepares a game to win,” Chiragwi said.

Ngezi Platinum Stars started the league like a house on fire, scoring eight goals in two matches. The goals have since dried up. Maybe, the decision to let go of their top goalscorer, Nyasha Chintuli, who contributed half of those goals, was not well thought-out.

“We are working on our shortcomings, especially in front of goals. We have been creating so many chances in the past two matches that we have played, but we are missing them. Hopefully this weekend it will be different,” Chiragwi said.

Striker Delic Murimba was brought in to fill the big boots left by Chintuli, and it has proved to be a difficult task so far.

But Chiragwi says it’s just a matter of time before the former Triangle man finds his groove.

“He has been doing very well, just like everybody in the team. The only thing that is lacking is accuracy in terms of scoring goals. But Murimba has shown the potential that he can be able to score many goals for the club,” he said.

Murimba will be facing his former club tomorrow for the first time since moving to Mhondoro-Ngezi last month.

“I hope he is going to deliver. But we can’t expect him to score all the goals. Every member of the team is there to give us some goals. With his contributions, the team is definitely going to be better in terms of creating chances and scoring goals. In all the games that he has played, he has done very well.”

Gibbo Stadium has not been a good hunting ground for Ngezi Platinum Stars, winning just once in the Lowveld since their league promotion
in 2016.

“It has been difficult for Ngezi Platinum Stars to collect maximum points at Gibbo, but it’s now history. But if we need to break that history, we have to pull up our socks and make sure we do the correct thing so that we can come up with something positive,” Chiragwi said.

Premier League matchday six fixtures

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

Tomorrow: 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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