DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya has called on his players to be mentally strong and not wilt under the pressure exerted by their fans at home as they go into the Castle Lager Premiership home stretch. The champions host How Mine at Rufaro tomorrow.
The Harare giants return home after a two-week absence which saw them picking up four points on the road. In their last match at Rufaro, they beat ZPC Kariba 2-1 and yesterday Ndiraya wanted his men to show the character that saw them steal all three points that day at the last minute.
“The last time we played at home we did well, got three points against ZPC Kariba. We are coming back, though our players tend to have some little bit of pressure when they play at home,” said Ndiraya.
“They play differently away, when they play at home they have some little bit of pressure from the fans but we expect them to be able to handle that pressure . “At this point in time, at this stage of the season, they should be mentally strong so that they can handle that pressure.
“I think what is important is just to do what the supporters want, that is playing good football and get a result, all those guys would be behind you.” The former midfielder said the players have found their confidence back after going on a 12-match unbeaten run. Their last defeat was in early May when they lost to Whawha at Ascot and the gaffer believes the form they have struck is key in the countdown of the championship race.
“We haven’t tasted defeat in a long time, it’s a good feeling for the team, but I think what is important at this stage of the season is to collect points,” said Ndiraya. “I think we did well collecting four points out of six on the road. So it’s important to collect maximum points at home and we never know where we will be at end at the end of the season.
“That is our aim, we are playing at home and we want to throw everything at How Mine, so that we get maximum points. We want maximum points.” Ndiraya, who will not have two senior defenders, Ocean Mushure (who is suspended after he was red-carded in the last match) and injured skipper Augustine Mbara, says he will juggle his squad to get the best combination.
Defender Blessing Moyo is out with an injury and goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi is also injured. The coach said while the central defence partnership of Sydney Linyama and Elisha Muroyiwa is likely to play, he will have to make a decision on who occupies the left flank between Tichaona Mabvura and Kudzanai Nyaka- saka.
Ndiraya concedes that it will be a tough match against a How Mine side which has some experienced and good players. “It is a tough match and How Mine have an experienced mentor in Luke Masomere, another of my mentors, in fact he coached me at Dynamos when I was still a player.
“So I am meeting one of my masters. It would be interesting to beat your former master but it is not going to be easy and it would be a very difficult match.
“They have some of our former players at How Mine and it would be interesting, in fact those guys, we have so much respect for them because of what they did for the club, they won so many championships.
“I am sure most of them would want to play well against the team which gave them fame. “We have youngsters, who also want to do well and win titles for the club. They also want to prove to those who left and are now playing for How Mine that they are equally good and can achieve equally the same.
“So, it going to be a very interesting contest apart.” Masomere, who usually has a lot to say in his pre-match interviews, chose to be diplomatic and said he will not reveal his game plan. “We are ready for the game but we have some challenges which we cannot disclose, they will work against us,” said Masomere.
“But we are glad to welcome back Gilbert Banda and Nelson Tachi to the team, they are fit now. Nyasha Mukumbi is out with an injury.“It will be a tough encounter, I know, this Dynamos will leave no stone unturned but we are also ready.
“Personally, I don’t want to lose to Dynamos, I support Dynamos, but I also want to do well against them.” How Mine have a number of players who once featured out for the Harare giants, including Tawanda Muparati and midfielders Devon Chafa and Wonder Sithole.
Source : Herald