By Grace Chingoma
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe believes the Harare giants can defend their title as they begin to clear a backlog of eight matches starting with the home assignment against How Mine at the National Sports Stadium on Wednesday.
While other teams are enjoying the break, CAPS United begin their catch up bid and after the mid-week game they will travel for a weekend fixture against Bulawayo City.
Chitembwe reckoned they will use the period to catch up on both fronts, the number of games played and the number of points collected.
He is bullish that his troops can defend the title despite a slow start in the league where they trail the leading pack by 18 points.
“It’s a very important period for us, important in the sense that we are playing catch up and we have already tasted good things and the boys want to continue.
“I am sure trying to balance the Champions League and the domestic league was becoming a bit difficult for us, but I want to believe this will give us ample time to focus on the league and we believe the league has to be given so much priority and focus on winning it again.
“So this is the focus for now,” Chitembwe told The Herald.
The Coach of the Year doesn’t think fatigue will creep into his boys.
“Football players want to play football everyday and so I think this is an opportunity for the boys to do what they do best that is to play football every week, and I am sure they will obviously enjoy the moment of just playing football, that is what professional football is all about, you play football an opportunity (arises) to play football, you play,” he said.
Chitembwe believes his players picked up some healthy and brilliant habits in their African Safari dance which should now come in handy as they try to flex their muscle on the Premiership again.
CAPS United, who had at the start of the season struggled in front of goal, suddenly found their range scoring a number of goals in the group stages of the Champions League.
The head-to-head encounters between the two teams last season ended with either side winning in their home assignments.
It was a high scoring affair at the National Sports Stadium last September as the Green Machine romped to a 3-2 victory with goals from defender Denis Dauda who has since moved to Yadah Stars, Leonard Tsipa and Dominic Chungwa while Chikurupati got the consolation goals from Godfrey Nguwodzawo and Milton Ncube.
How Mine had won the reverse fixture 2-1.
However, a lot has changed since then. But CAPS United believe the future looks brighter for them.
*Wednesday:* CAPS United v How Mine (National Sports Stadium).
*Saturday:* Bulawayo Mine v CAPS United (Barbourfields). The Herald