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'Relegated Bantu tougher than Dynamos'

by Staff reporter
04 Nov 2017 at 07:19hrs | Views
TABLE-TOPPERS Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya reckons the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match against Bantu Rovers at Luveve Stadium tomorrow will be tougher than last weekend's feisty clash against title rivals Dynamos.

Ngezi will be looking to maintain a stranglehold at the top as the title race gets tougher going to the home stretch.

Ndiraya, who will be without striker Terrance Dzvukamanja, who picked a shoulder injury at training during the week, as well as skipper Partson Jaure and midfielder Dominic Mukandi, said playing against a team that is already relegated and with nothing to lose presents a tough challenge.

"We are giving the game the respect it deserves. If anything, I think the game will be more difficult than the Dynamos match we played at the weekend," he said.

"The fact that Bantu Rovers are already relegated takes away all the pressure from them. They are coming into these last games without any pressure at all and that makes it very difficult for us.

"That is the reason they beat ZPC Kariba at home and I understand they also gave Tsholotsho a very good run in Beitbridge. They are playing with a lot of freedom and are enjoying the last games, so it makes this tie tricky for us."

He fears complacency could trickle in after the win over Dynamos at Baobab last Saturday and they have been working on psyching the players to guard against that.

"We beat Dynamos when everyone least expected us to and we are afraid that victory may affect our players mentally. They may come into the game thinking that they only have to turn up to get the points against Bantu Rovers. It has been difficult for us to motivate the players for this game," the Ngezi Platinum mentor said.

"Two teams from both ends of the table are meeting and one can imagine what effect it will have on the players especially after that big victory against another title-chasing team, Dynamos."

With 60 points in the bag, the platinum miners will play the Bantu Rovers tie already knowing the result of other title contenders FC Platinum, who also are on 60 points hosting ZPC Kariba today.

Ndiraya said a lot would happen in the last four matches and the title-race is still open.

"Of course, we enhanced our chances of winning the title. If we win all the remaining games, we will get the big prize. But we have four difficult games, starting with the Bantu Rovers one," he said.

"Obviously, a lot is going to happen, as we fight for the 12 points available. I see a lot of changes to the log in those four games, but it is something that we are working hard to try and avoid so that we remain on top until the end. It's not going to be easy, but we have to try and do it.

"We believe the team we have has got mental strength to withhold all the pressures at the top. It's not going to be an easy ride, but it's a challenge that we relish and I hope we take it head on."

Also in the race are Dynamos on 58 points, who host Chapungu at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.

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Source - newsday
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