Caps United director Farai Jere yesterday told his players to shape up following the team’s woeful start to the 2012 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
The former champions are still to taste victory in open play four games into the season and alarm bells are already ringing at the third most popular side in the country after Dynamos and Highlanders.
The Green Machine restructured their technical team during the off-season roping in Irishman Sean Connor as the team manager while former head coach Lloyd Chitembwe was named the second in command in a technical team that also boasts of Brenna Msiska, Kennedy Nagoli and Joel Luphahla.
Despite what appears to be a rich dugout team, the results have not been forthcoming for the Harare giants who drew 2-2 with Shabanie Mine in their season’s first assignment before they were humiliated 2-0 by high-flying Chicken Inn in their second game.
Caps got their first set of three points after Motor Action failed to turn up for their encounter at Gwanzura Stadium two weeks ago, but again they were exposed last Saturday when league debutants Harare City forced a 1-1 draw at the
National Sports Stadium.
The results have angered Jere, who categorically stated that the technical team headed by Connor was going nowhere and squarely blamed the players for failing to live up to expectations.
Jere addressed the players at the National Sports Stadium B Arena yesterday morning in a gruelling meeting that lasted for over two hours.
“These guys are not small players. They should wake up and pick up the pieces. Look at last weekend against Harare City, they do everything, but when they get to the edge of the box they don’t shoot. What do you want the coaches to do? I need them to wake up.
“I made it clear that we are not going to look for another coach. We are not going to change, not even bring in new players come June. There are rumours that some of them will be told to go because Sean complained about one or two players and they were worried about their future, but I told them no such thing would happen. We have quality players,” said Jere.
The Caps boss said they were paying their players $300 as winning bonus per match and did not see any reason why his charges were not motivated.
“We are paying them huge winning bonuses. Who is getting that kind of money? If you factor in their winning bonuses per month, it will add up to $1 200, even some companies do not pay like that.
These players need to be serious. If you look at a player like Charles Chiutsa, he used to pack those thunderous shots from the middle of the park when he was at Monomotapa. We bought that quality. Where has it gone? I hammered to them that Caps United is not a small team and a lot is expected from them. We are basically demanding results from the players,” he said.
Jere dismissed notions that Chitembwe and Connor were at loggerheads.
He said: “There is speculation that Lloyd and Connor are not working together, but let me make it clear that these guys are united. Lloyd is the one who went and picked up Connor’s wife at the airport when she arrived and they occasionally have dinner together. Lloyd is always at Sean’s house. Again it is the players who go to people and claim that the coaches are divided. After we reminded that they were at work, the players pledged through their captain that they would deliver starting this weekend.”