Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya says his team will not panic despite losing ground to FC Platinum in the Premiership race.
They slumped to a shock 0-1 defeat at the hands of Mutare City Rovers at Vengere on Sunday.
Ndiraya’s men are now four points adrift of leaders FC Platinum.
“The loss to Mutare City at Vengere on Sunday was definitely very disappointing. It seriously dented our title aspirations,” said Ndiraya.
“Of course, the pitch was difficult, but that is not an excuse. We performed badly. We created a number of clear-cut opportunities, but failed to convert them,’’ said Ndiraya.
“The goal we conceded was too soft. I thought my defence should have done better. If a team wants to win the title, they have to collect points from every stadium.
“We failed to clear the Mutare City hurdle and it is very painful. We were unable to concentrate in defence and also failed to take our chances.
“That is very disappointing for a team fighting for the honours.
“But all hope is not lost as yet. We are not throwing in the towel. We were close to winning the title last year when we fizzled out in the last stretch.
“We cannot allow that demon to haunt us again this year. We have a strong competitive team.’’
With a clash against Highlanders beckoning for the Mhondoro team at Barbourfields on Sunday, Ndiraya knows any more lapse will spell disaster for his team.
“We have made a lot of mistakes after performing well in the first half of the season. We need to lift ourselves up and start picking points.
“We have only stumbled, not fallen, so we should keep on pushing.
“The good thing is we will be facing those clubs who, like us, are also fighting for the championship, including FC Platinum.
“We knew it would not be easy-sailing as the second half of the season is always like that, but we will work hard to try and wrestle the championship, there is still time for us to regroup and put in a strong fight.’’
Chicken Inn, who are in third place, also failed to keep pace with the leaders after falling 0-1 to visiting ZPC Kariba, with Tawanda Nyamandwe scoring the solitary goal.