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AFTER the deflation of the Derby defeat, CAPS United have to find a way to rise and face their next assignment against Chicken Inn in a Castle Lager Premiership tie at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday. The Green Machine have spent three weeks in bruising battles against the old enemy, Dynamos and they lost two of the matches and drew one.

They were full value for their first half lead, last Sunday and — with better luck and precision — could have humiliated their opponents in those first 45 minutes.

But, as has often been the case in the past five years, DeMbare roared back and goals by Washington Pakamisa and substitute Russell Madamombe, plunged the dagger into the CAPS United hearts.

However, despite coming second best in the Derbies, CAPS United can be cheered by their performance.

Coach Taurai Mangwiro was blamed by a section of the Green Machine fans for adopting a defensive shape, after the break, hoping to contain Dynamos on Sunday rather than keep the attacking game that had served them so well in the first half.

But he believes this isn’t the time to worry about the past, but to look into the future and refreshingly, CAPS United are just four points off the pacesetters Highlanders.

“We are coming back from a very painful defeat. We have said to the players, let’s not look back, we have lost three points and now is the time to fight back and remind our fans that we are still in (the race),” said Mangwiro.

“We should draw lessons from the match and at times, it is about taking opportunities and sometimes luck also plays a role. We lost to Dynamos but we are still a good team.

“We are within touching distance and the last thing we need is chaos. Losing to Dynamos is not the end of the world.

“I know it is bitter and hard to accept because of the rivalry but shouldn’t affect our season as there is still a lot at stake and hope for the best.

“For me, as a coach, it was the second time in my career to lose a match which I would have taken a lead. The first match was back when I was still with Monomotapa and we lost 1-2 to Chicken Inn though under controversial circumstances.

“It was a very painful experience for me.”

The coach, however, said they should ride on the quality of their performance in the Derby matches, even though it did not give them the results they wanted, to make their final push for the title.

The former Black Mambas duo of Nicholas Alifandika and Honey Chimutimunzeve impressed in their first game for the club while central defender Carlton Muzambwa and George Nyirenda also showed they are quality players.

“People should have patience and this is not the time for people to play the blame game. We lost as a team and we are looking to fight another day,” said Mangwiro.

“There shouldn’t be noise about the coach or any of the players. A section of ill-informed fans should know that is the last thing we want.”

Mangwiro said there were no easy matches in the Premiership.

“Teams are vying for the championship while others are battling relegation so every game is important and seriousness should be attached in every match,” said Mangwiro.

“We beat Chicken Inn in the first game but they will be dangerous so we have to be at our best to beat them.

“They remain one of the teams with a very g squad.”

CAPS United welcome skipper Tapuwa Kumbuyani, who missed the last match with an injury, while Stephen Makatuka is back from suspension and David Chipala is also back in training.

But they will miss Dominic Mukandi, who is suspended, after accumulating three yellow cards.


Tomorrow: Harare City v Chiredzi (Rufaro, 3pm SS).

Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Hwange (Gwanzura, 3pm SS), FC Platinum v Chapungu (Mandava).

Sunday: CAPS United v Chicken Inn (National Sports Stadium, 3pm SS), Buffaloes v Shabanie (Sakubva), Highlanders v How Mine (Barbourfields), Black Rhinos v Dynamos (Rimuka), Triangle United v Bantu Rovers (Gibbo).

Source : The Herald