CHICKEN inn coach Joey Antipas has lauded the immediate impact from his new signings but was quick to warn of the need to stay grounded following their impressive start in the Castle Lager Premiership.
The Gamecocks thrust themselves among favourites to wrestle the championship from FC Platinum after a blistering start to the campaign which saw them sit at the top of the table with 22 points from nine matches, three ahead of second placed Dynamos.
However, Antipas has his feet firmly on the ground but he is more than happy for others to allow their imagination to run wild on the back especially after weekend’s 2-0 win over Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium courtesy of a Bret Amidu brace.
The former Chicken Inn coach has attributed much of his team’s current form to continuity at the club as well as the arrival of such players like Richard Hachiro, Itai Hwata, Brian Muza and Tawanda Zinaka, who have gone to make quick impact.
Muza, who joined the Gamecocks in 2020 before making his debut in the Chibuku Super Cup has already netted seven goals in nine matches while Hachiro, who joined the club after being dumped by CAPS United has also settled well in the midfield with some polished performances.
“We are still trying to put our act together. We want to be very strong. We did some very good business during the window. Those guys are improving and already performing well. Guys like Hachiro and Muza have performed well for us and are still improving,” Antipas said.
“Guys like Muza, he is very talented and he is scoring goals. When you bring in players and they start to perform well, it’s really pleasing.
“The team itself is performing well and is much stronger now than before. We are just hoping and praying that we continue like that, as you know football is a game of ups and downs. We are up now and sometimes we may be down. We just have to pick ourselves up and keep moving. So far so good, we are enjoying the light in the sun.
Antipas is, however, not ruling out his side from challenging for honours.
“I am not a good predictor so we will just continue to work game by game. Like most teams who want to win the championship, we are one of them. It’s a good step for us now; it all goes down to good teamwork.
“We are playing Manica Diamonds and it’s a big challenge. We are training and trying to come up with a good game plan. Our plan is to win as many matches as possible. It’s a competitive league, the boys are working hard.
The Gamecocks were crowned PSL champions in 2015 and their current form has since raised hopes of another title.
Meanwhile CAPS United seems to have discovered the winning formulae after dispatching Herentals 3-2 at the weekend in a thrilling encounter. Inform striker William Manondo once again emerged the hero after notching a brace including a late winner. The win took CAPS United’s tally to 14 points from nine matches to sit sixth on the log table trailing log leaders Chicken Inn by eight points.
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is happy with how things are shaping after a difficult start to the campaign.
“I am extremely happy with the fact that we have gone for four games, especially in the recent weeks, and managed to collect three wins,” Chitembwe alluded.
“It gives us hope that there is progress in the team. We did enough to win it, especially in the first half. We controlled and dominated the game, especially in the first half. We never gave them a chance.”