By Nigel Matongorere
Ngezi Platinum Stars are not pressing the panic button yet and have thrown their full weight behind under-pressure coach Tonderai Ndiraya. Madamburo lost 1-0 to Herentals at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday with 17-year-old Tinotenda Benza scoring the only goal for the home side.
It was the platinum miners’ fourth consecutive defeat and it great dented their chances of closing the gap on log leaders and defending champions FC Platinum, who lost 1-2 at home to ZPC Kariba on the same day.
Ngezi Platinum remain in second place with 38 points while FC platinum are on 44 points after 18 matches.
The losing streak has piled pressure Ndiraya, who is now desperate to rediscover the winning formula after previously going for 14 games without defeat.
However, Ngezi Platinum secretary general Cloete Munjoma said Ndiraya is the right man for the job.
“We are not panicking at all. These things happen in football and we are strongly behind our technical team. Why should we change our coaches?” Munjoma told the Daily News yesterday.
“We are in second position on the log and only six points behind the team in first place. There is no way we can get rid of our coach.
“There are still some 16 games to be played before the season ends and that means about 48 points are still up for grabs. We have complete faith in our technical team.”
Madamburo can lose some of their star players including forwards Terrence Dzvukamanja, James Ngulube, Michael Charamba and Tichaona Mabvura.
The quartet has been on trials with South African clubs in recent weeks and can be joining the Super Diski any time from now.
“In terms of new signings, we will stand guided by the technical team. Once they identify the players they want to bring in, the club will then start the negotiations,” Munjoma said.
“As things stand, we are just waiting to hear from the technical team who they are looking at brining in but at the moment, we are yet to make any signings during this mid-season transfer window.”
Speaking after the defeat to Herentals at the weekend, Ndiraya admitted that the losing run was now a crisis.
“It’s sort of a crisis now if I can put it that way, we need to stop the rot. The good thing is that, we had covered much ground but we have not been moving, we have now lost 12 points,” Ndiraya said after the game.
“It’s a massive number of points. As a coach you get worried and as an institution, you also get worried but it’s something which we hope to work on, we will keep our hopes.
“Yeah, it’s now a crisis but a crisis which we can look at — I’m still hopeful we can bounce back from it.”
Ndiraya also hinted that there is an urgent need to find a striker to complement Dzvukamanja’s goals.
“We have not been very sharp in particularly the games that we have lost. We have actually been getting goals from defenders so it’s a cause of concern,”
“It’s an area which we need to look at particularly during this transfer window. We need to refresh our squad going forward.” – DailyNews