CAPS United might have lost two of their preseason tournament matches against rivals, Dynamos and Highlanders, results that didn’t go down well with the club’s supporters, but their head coach, Lloyd Chitembwe is not worried.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Instead, Chitembwe thinks the matches gave him a good assessment of his squad before making a forecast for his team in the upcoming season.
He believes his squad was good enough to reclaim the Premier Soccer League title that was wrestled away from them by FC Platinum last season.
Speaking after the Green Machine’s 2-1 loss to a youthful Highlanders squad in the final of the KCD Mohadi Shield at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday, Chitembwe sounded an optimistic note.
“As a coach, sometimes it’s important to be responsible. Any coach at any level would want to win games and winning games would obviously lead to winning the title. There is no exception, we want to win the games and any team in the league would want to win games,” he said.
“In as far as I am concerned, I am sure we have what it takes. We are very competitive; we have the skill and the technique and know-how to worry about our eventual position on the log. Some decisions are going to be made based on this game. That was the purpose of this game. The players have to justify why they have to be part of the team. This game served its purpose and we will come up with the right decisions,” he said.
Chitembwe’s men also lost 1-0 to a largely inexperienced Dynamos side in the semi-finals of the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Cup a fortnight ago.
The defeats have left a section of the Caps United supporters confused of what to expect from their side, when the season kick-off on March 17, but Chitembwe remains calm.
“Technically, I am sure we are at a level where I can say we are 80% ready. Physically, I am very happy and tactically the boys have grasped many concepts of our game and mentally, I am sure we are there. I am very happy with what I saw. This is the fifth week in the preparations and for the boys to give me what they gave today (Sunday) I am very impressed considering we lost quite a number players. We are having a squad that is good enough to compete this season. It is our primary target to make sure we are competitive,” he said.
Caps United have made significant additions to their playing personal to replace some of their stars who left for greener pastures.
Former skipper, Method Mwanjali, Dominic Mukandi, Equatorial Guinea international, Tony Fugo and Oscar Machapa have all returned to the club, while their only scorer of the match, Brian Muzondiwa, goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, Wisdom Mutasa and Praise Tonha have joined.
Nomadic striker, Roderick Mutuma was on the bench for the team on Sunday.
Star midfielder, Ronald Chitiyo is back at the club after he terminated his contract with Tunisian side, Sfaxen.
Some of the key players that were snapped up by foreign clubs after the team’s good showing in the Caf Champions League following their league triumph are goalkeeper, Edmore Sibanda, Dominic Chungwa, Ronald Pfumbidzai who went down South while Devon Chafa signed for Zambian moneybags Buildcon last week.
Abbasi Amidu went to Egypt, while Phineas Bamusi joined Triangle.