By Blessing Malinganiza
Despite an impressive start to his stint as Chippa United coach, Norman Mapeza insists that his mission is to survive relegation at the end of the current season in May.
Chippa United are on an impressive run that has yielded 13 points from the last five matches –four wins and a draw.
This has seen the Cape Town based outfit move from the basement to within touching distance of Top 8.
Despite his achievements, the South African media have largely ignored Mapeza.
“I’ve been working hard since I came here and the boys have also been working hard.
“My target is to survive relegation, we want to survive relegation,” he said.
Mapeza has already won the hearts of the Chippa United fans who now expect more when the league resumes next month.
They are expected to revamp the squad during the mid-season transfer window with Mapeza hoping to build a solid outfit.
Asked if he had to change coaching methods since he was dealing with a team that was fighting relegation, Mapeza said:
“Football is the same world over. No matter the league, football is the same, “he said.
Club owner Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi is well known for firing coaches and he had fired two coaches already this season before Mapeza joined in October.
Mapeza opened up about the pressure of joining a team that was known for firing coaches.
“There is always pressure in every team.
“If any coach tells you that he is not under pressure, he will be lying. There is always pressure whether you are winning or losing.
“Whether you are topping the log or on the bottom, there is always pressure in football, “he said.
He added: “I think I can contribute my current success to the boys for their hard work, determination, belief and desire.
“The guys have been working hard and I am happy with the response and the desire to work.
“But we give all the glory to the Almighty and we need to keep praying for he is the one who give us health and the strength to continue”
However, there is no rest for Mapeza as they are set to begin training on the 27th of this month.
“I’m not coming back home because we need to resume training and prepare for the upcoming games.
“We begin league games on the 4th of January so yeah there is no time to rest, “he said.
Mapeza concluded the interview with H-Metro by wishing Zimbabweans a happy holiday.
“I want to wish everybody back home a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
“I urge them to look after themselves, not to drink and drive, “he said. H Metro