CAPS brace for Chicken Inn Mark Mathe

Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
CAPS United coach Mark Mathe has challenged his troops to up their game and rise from their mid-table position which he believes is not in keeping with the Green Machine’s brand.

Makepekepe will host log leaders Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday and their coach believes the showdown with the Gamecocks will provide them with yet another stern challenge of their character.

CAPS United fought out a goalless draw against Harare City at Rufaro last Saturday in a match which Mathe reckoned could have gone either way.

But the former Highlanders coach who has been thrust into the hot seat following the sudden departure of Englishman Mark Harrison last month wants CAPS United to turn on a more consistent show in their performances in the second half of the season.

CAPS United will face a defining three-week period in which the Harare City match will be followed by back to back clashes against a Chicken Inn outfit that has clung on top spot.

Mathe said he was under no illusions about the tough challenge that the Gamecocks will present to his team but said he had all week been challenging his charges to start winning and rise from the eighth place they are in with 21 points.

“Of course against Harare City we wanted a win and that game in my view was a tale of two halves. City were stronger in the first half and I thought we came back strongly in the second.

“For a club of our stature we are not in a good position being in eighth place. The management are doing their best and we have to start winning and move up the ladder which I feel is where we belong.

“All the matches are tough but Chicken Inn will be more difficult because these are the log leaders but we are looking for maximum points. Our home record has to improve if we need to mount a strong challenge because it is always tough to get points on the road,’’ Mathe said.

The tall CAPS coach revealed that he was relieved that skipper Harldlife Zvirekwi who picked knock against the Sunshine Boys and veteran striker Leonard Tsipa were fully fit to face Joey Antipas’ table toppers.

Malawian Gerald Nyirenda also returns after missing last Saturday’s assignment due to suspension.

Mathe also spoke of his admiration of the way Chicken Inn have gone about their business to retain top spot ahead of Triangle and third-placed Dynamos.

“From what I see, Antipas is a good coach who has assembled a squad of tough players that have grit, they are very compact and they are very consistent.

“Even if they might have some players in the national team, they still remain strong because they have the depth and we have to be at our best to beat them,’’ Mathe said.

The Gamecocks showed Harare fans a glimpse of what they can do on their day when they stunned Dynamos 3-1 at Rufaro, handing the champions their biggest home defeat in more than five seasons. But with Mathe aware that CAPS United will be travelling to Bulawayo the following week, the CAPS coach wants Zvirekwi and company to get a psychological advantage by winning at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

“We have to make full use of home advantage then fight to pick up points on the road. All the games will be difficult but that is why we are in competition and we have to show our character’’.

CAPS United will still be without Malawian midfielder Gerald Phiri who is attending trials in South Africa but Mathe who is hoping that Valentine Musarurwa recovers in time for the match said he was expecting whoever, will be sent into battle to fight for full points.

Chicken Inn who have lost only twice in 13 games have also been solid at the back and retain the best defensive record having just conceded eight goals to date.

Antipas, a championship winner with the now defunct Motor Action is an experienced coach who has blended youth and experience at Chicken Inn.

Veteran midfielder Clement Matawu, former Gunners man Mitchelle Katsvairo, have been playing a key role in the team together with youthful players such as Young Warriors defender Lawrence Mhlanga and midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu. The CAPS against Chicken Inn showdown will be the only game in the capital on Sunday but the full Castle Lager Premiership programme action will begin on Saturday with Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa taking charge of his first home game with ZPC Kariba when they host Tsholotsho at Nyamhunga.

Another potentially exciting match will be at Barbourfields where former Bosso coach Kevin Kaindu leads the free scoring Triangle at Barbourfields.

Champions Dynamos have a cagey away assignment against Hwange at the Colliery and a Midlands derby is on between Chapungu and FC Platinum at Ascot.

You Might Also Like


Take our Survey

We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey