BY HENRY MHARA
PREMIER Soccer League giants Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has demanded an improvement from his side in the second half if they are to mount a serious title challenge.
The Harare giants have made an impressive start to the campaign, losing twice to Chicken Inn and Triangle at the halfway stage of the season.
Despite the good start, Ndiraya has highlighted the importance of a good run in the second round of matches.
“Of course, we have started well, but what counts the most is how we are going to finish,” Ndiraya said.
“The second round of matches is going to be difficult, but we should be able to overcome. What I like is the foundation that we have laid for ourselves. We did so well as a team in the first round of matches in a very long time. We haven’t been in this position in a long time. We haven’t garnered the points that we have in the first 17 games in a long time, so that has given us a very strong and firm foundation to fight for the title. We are in an open race and I would want my players to do better than what we did in the first round of matches.”
The Glamour Boys, who last won the league title in 2014, are sitting third on the log standings with 34 points, one behind log leaders Chicken Inn.
In between them are the defending champions FC Platinum who also have 34 points.
Dynamos are still waiting for a determination on their abandoned match against Highlanders.
“There is so much competition at the top and what is good is to keep in touch with those at the top and then strike at the right time, so we are not panicking. We are in a very good position and what is important for us now is to concentrate on ourselves, to concentrate on winning matches and getting points so that we keep ourselves in contention. We are third in terms of numbers, but I feel we are good where we are,” he said.
Dynamos have tough fixtures coming up in the early stages of the second round of matches.
They face Yadah, a potential banana skin, in their opener. After that, they play Triangle at home and then travel to Mutare for a clash with Cranborne Bullets. They then face FC Platinum, Chicken Inn and Bulawayo Chiefs in that
“It is going to be a difficult second round of matches, but we are preparing. Hopefully, by the time we face Yadah, we would be ready and in a good position to have another go at the campaign.
“Naturally, in the second round of matches, all the games will be tough because some teams will be fighting for the championship and others will be fighting to survive, so that makes all the games difficult. We will take it step by step.”
Ndiraya said it has been difficult for him and his backroom staff to psyche up the players, most of them who have never been involved in the title race before.
From the current Dynamos squad, only Patson Jaure and Ralph Kawondera have league title-winning medals.
“That means most of them don’t know what it takes to fight for the championship. So we will have to prepare the other 28 players psychologically for the fight to win games, so that we keep pace with the other teams.”
Matchday 18 fixtures
Friday: Herentals v Harare City (National Sports Stadium)
Saturday: Cranborne Bullets v Chicken Inn (Sakubva), Bulawayo City v Ngezi Platinum (Barbourfields), Yadah v Dynamos (National Sports Stadium)
Sunday: Tenax v FC Platinum (Sakubva), Caps United v ZPC Kariba (National Sports Stadium), Highlanders v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields), WhaWha v Manica Diamonds (Ascot), Triangle v Bulawayo Chiefs (Gibbo)
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