HARARE – CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe insists his side are not getting ahead of themselves by setting sights on the league title but are targeting a win in their next game.
Makepekepe assumed top spot of the Castle Lager Premiership log when they defeated visiting Border Strikers 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium, last Sunday.
With four wins, and a draw from their opening five matches, the Green Machine have 13 points and are now level with second-placed FC Platinum. However, United have a superior goal difference over the platinum miners.
Chitembwe feels it’s still too early to talk about winning the championship at this stage and is only focussed purely on tomorrow’s clash against How Mine at Luveve Stadium.
“For us, we just want to do well this week. I don’t think it’s right to look beyond How Mine. We don’t really care what happens after the How Mine game but we’re only concerned about what we will do or how we will fare against How Mine,” Chitembwe said at his weekly press conference yesterday.
“I don’t think it is correct for me to look beyond the How Mine match. In as far as I’m concerned, all the aspirations, dreams and ambitions are fulfilled only if we fare well against How Mine.
“We want to put all our efforts towards the How Mine match.”
Last weekend, Makepekepe toiled against Border Strikers and needed a second half strike from veteran forward Leonard Tsipa to break the league newcomers’ resolve.
The Green Machine failed to impose their game against a plucky Beitbridge-based side which seemed content on playing for a draw.
Chitembwe blamed Makepekepe’s failure to control the match against Saul Chaminuka’s side on anxiety.
The former Makepekepe midfield enforcer said the problem is not only peculiar with CAPS but other well-drilled teams can suffer from anxiety.
“Even the best teams in the world; we’ve seen them being affected by this, especially in games that you tell yourself that you want three points,” Chitembwe said.
“The moment you don’t get to be in control of the situation, you get desperate and that is exactly what happened last Sunday.
“We thought we were going to score very early so that we take full control of the match and it didn’t happen that way. We became desperate to an extent that maybe the emotions were getting the better of us.”
Chitembwe praised his players for overcoming this mental block to collect all three points.
“But I’m happy because we managed to draw a lot of positives from that. The positives are that if things are not going our way, we can still grind a result and this is a very good quality within the team,” he said.
“It’s not always that you will dominate all matches but sometimes great teams are seen by their ability to win matches even if they are not doing well. I’m not necessarily happy but I’m satisfied.”
Today: How Mine v CAPS United (Luveve, SS), Harare City v Tsholotsho (Rufaro), Ngezi Platinum Stars v Highlanders (Baobab), ZPC Kariba v Mutare City (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Border Strikers v Hwange (Maglas), Bulawayo City v Chapungu (Barbourfields) Dynamos v Platinum (Rufaro)