CAPS players back Tau

HARARE - CAPS United senior player Hardlife Zvirekwi insists the entire team is firmly behind embattled coach Taurai Mangwiro and believes the Green Machine can turn things around in the remaining seven games of the Castle Premiership.

Mangwiro's coaching ability has come under heavy scrutiny from a section of the club’s fans after the nil all draw with How Mine on Sunday ensured they remain four points behind leaders and title favourites Dynamos.

Utility player Zvirekwi says he has been left shaken by the pressure that has been brought to bear on the coach, who was targeted for persecution by unruly fans following the draw with How Mine at Rufaro Stadium.  

And with seven goals to go in the title race, United only trail leaders Dynamos by four points, and Zvirekwi believes the amount criticism directed at the coach is unjust under the circumstances. 

Makepekepe fans stepped up their anti-Mangwiro campaign on Sunday and clashed with police outside the venue. Mangwiro had to be escorted off the ground by the club’s security personnel.

They meet Black Rhinos at Rimuka Stadium this coming weekend.

“We are not far away from the leading pack. We are only separated by four points which I feel is not much especially given that there will be a lot of twist and turns at this stage of the season,” Zvirekwi jumped to his coach’s defence yesterday. 

“All we need to do is to fight for the same cause from the players to the fans. The important thing is for us to remain focused and concentrate on our games.

“Everyone is fully behind the coach. We believe in him and we trust that he will deliver. He is a good coach. In football we should expect results like these at times.

“We have had a bad spell lately but we are desperate to retain to winning ways. Our remaining matches should be like cup finals. There is no need for any slip-ups now.”

CAPS United have failed to pick maximum points in their last two league matches after playing out goalless draws with Bantu Rovers and How Mine.

The Green Machine currently sits in fourth place on the log with 39 points from 23 matches and trail leaders and champions Dynamos by four points.

Yesterday, Mangwiro came out guns blazing accusing the Makepekepe fans of double standards.

“The problem with CAPS fans is that when the team loses it’s the coach’s fault, and they do not know what they really want,” he said.

“They accuse me of being a Dynamos supporter but Lloyd Chitembwe, a CAPS legend; they had running battles with him. They were always calling for his blood whenever the team lost.

“It was the same case with Zambian Fewdays Musonda, who did not have any links with Dynamos, but they still treated him badly.”  

Mangwiro, a former Dynamos player, has often been viewed with some suspicion by diehard CAPS fans, due to his roots at United’s great city rivals. 

Friday: Bantu Rovers v Hwange (Hartsfield, SS).

Saturday: How Mine v Chicken Inn (Hartsfield), FC Platinum v Buffaloes (Mandava), Chapungu v Chiredzi (Ascot), Black Rhinos v CAPS United (Rimuka, SS).

Sunday: Dynamos v Shabanie Mine (Rufaro, SS), Triangle United v Harare City (Gibbo), Highlanders v ZPC Kariba (Hartsfield).

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