Tonderai Ndiraya is set to make wholesale changes as Ngezi Platinum Stars adopt a more offensive approach when they host Mauritian outfit Pamplemousses in the reverse leg of the CAF Confederation Cup at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.
The two teams drew 1-1 in the first leg.
Ndiraya is seeking to finish off their opponents to progress to the next round where Angolan side Recreativo do Libolo are waiting in ambush.
“What we have been trying to do is to give players time to recover. We had a punishing schedule . . . so when we came back we had to give the boys some time to recover,” said Ndiraya.
“I am glad we are seeing some signs of recovery and we are just taking it nice and slow so that we get to the weekend match in the best shape possible.
“We are quite happy and impressed by the way the boys are going about their business, they are all enthusiastic and want to finish off the job.”
The match will start at 1pm.
He says he will ring some changes.
“We scored away from home, so we don’t want to let that advantage slip away,” said Ndiraya.
“We were a little bit exposed in Mauritius but we have experienced players at the back and we expect a few faces to rejoin that department who were injured.
“We want to be on the offensive, we were a bit defensive away from home but this time around we are going to change because we are playing at home, the conditions here suit us and the players would have recovered so there is no reason why we should sit back.
“We want to go all out and attack and try and get some goals at the same time making sure our defence is solid.
“We are going to make up to five changes to suit our game plan and we want to put mainly offensive players.”
The coach yesterday welcomed back the defence pair of Byron Madzokere and Edgar Tapera, who missed the trip to the resort island with groin injuries.
“I wanted them to gain full fitness and I am glad they joined the rest of the guys today. They have shown some signs of recovery and hope they see through the training programme this week.
“That area is our area of concern (defence), we have seen how the Mauritians play, they play long balls and our players struggled in dealing with that, especially those that played in central defence, so that is what we have been trying to correct and the signs are looking good.”
However, the coach is sweating on the fitness of midfielder Walter Mukanga, who got a knock in Mauritius.
“We have a major worry with Walter Mukanga, he has an ankle knock, he didn’t train today, he did light (training) and we are talking to the medical team, they are working on him and see if he can probably recover on time.
“We are not too worried, of course, you would want your best players to play but sometimes it is beyond your control.
“We hope he recovers in time, but if he doesn’t we have a team that can compete,” said Ndiraya. The former Dynamos coach said their opponents were not pushovers.
“What we have discovered is that they are quite a determined lot. But we have also discovered that their defence is not that tight,” he said.
“But overall, they are a good team.
“We would really need to step up our efforts if we want to qualify.”
The Mauritian side arrived yesterday afternoon for the game. The Herald