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Player protests have cost us: Chitembwe

Lloyd Chitembwe

CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe has lamented the negative effects of player strikes at his team which have seen his side losing its rhythm in the last two matches.

Having gone on a fine six-match unbeaten run, Caps United lost to Highlanders before they were held by Herentals after training boycotts preceding the two clashes.

Ahead of the Highlanders clash, the players refused to train and only started drills the Friday before the game on Sunday.

They had not received their salaries in three months and it took persuasion by Chitembwe for the players to agree to travel to Bulawayo for the match.

Having taken a 1-0 first-half lead through a glorious strike by the league’s leading marksman William Manondo, they could not hold on in the second stanza with Highlanders roaring back to take all three points with a 2-1 win.

Last weekend, Caps United missed a glorious opportunity to grab maximum points in a one-all draw against 10-man Herentals at the Nationals Sports Stadium with veteran midfielder Devon Chafa missing from the penalty spot late in the game.

Chitembwe feels his side is paying dearly for missing out on training ahead of matches.

“The response (after the Highlanders defeat) could have been better because we went for three days without training and some of those things take away the element of luck in your game. And I am sure we have paid dearly for not training because that luck was not there,” Chitembwe said after watching his side share spoils with Herentals on Saturday.

“Imagine when you go on to miss a penalty, these are very clear signs of us not doing certain things that are football-like. You know sometimes in football for you to have that luck you need to be seen to be going certain things right and I am sure during the course of the week we didn’t do certain things by staying away from training and obviously the element of luck goes away.”

However, Caps United players trained yesterday as they began preparations for their weekend tie at home to struggling Tenax.

Makepekepe’s season has been marred by financial woes which have seen players threatening to boycott matches as well as refusing to train on several occasions.

The Green Machine currently sits in 13th place on the log standings with 30 points from 26 matches, six points above the relegation zone with eight matches remaining in the season.


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