NGEZI Platinum Stars captain Liberty Chakoroma says the team wants another explosive start to the second half of their campaign as the one they had in the first stanza of their adventure. The Mhondoro miners had a flying start to the season after going for 14 matches without conceding defeat, before their bubble burst at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs in Week 15.
They then lost their next two matches against FC Platinum and Black Rhinos.
For the better part of the first half of the season, Ngezi were making all the right headlines and smashing records as they turned themselves into the team to beat.
But indifferent form towards the end of the first half saw them surrendering the top position to champions FC Platinum.
The side are now six points off the pacesetters, but Chakoroma believes the mid-season break has given his team room to recover.
Ngezi have a date with Herentals at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday in a match that starts at 2pm as the Premier Soccer League seek to avoid a clash with the World Cup fixtures in Russia.
“Going for three games on the bounce without picking a point is generally demoralising.
“Moreso, for a team of our calibre who had gone for the better part of the first half of the season on top of the standings,” said Chakoroma.
“We really need some form of self-motivation and desire. We need to push ourselves. We lost all those matches due to some psychological issues and not because we are not technically sound.
“There are instances in this game that psychological issues may cost you matches. We have one of the best coaches in the Premiership and Ngezi is also home to some of the best players on land.
“So the dip in form in those three encounters which we lost had absolutely nothing to do with our technical and tactical ability, but it was just a bad patch.
“Thankfully, we lost our groove towards the end of the first half of the season. And we have been working extremely hard to rectify some of the errors which we think contributed to our uncharacteristic loss of form.’’
The lanky defender, who partnered Frank Makarati at the heart of the team’s defence for their first 17 games, said the battle against Herentals will be tricky.
“Obviously, after losing our last three matches on the trot, it will not be easy playing away from home against a good team like Herentals. We need to up our game, but overall, I am happy with what we have done at the team so far this mid-season break.
“We are pushing each other and all the players want to win. I hope we will have as fine a start to the second half of the season as we had in the initial phase of the first.
“We are going all out to try and wrestle the championship from the holders, who also happen to be the log leaders at the moment.’’