Mathe remains defiant

HARARE - CAPS United coach Mark Mathe insists he is not under any pressure after the club bosses handed him a two-game ultimatum to win against Flame Lilly and Dongo Sawmills in the Castle Lager Premiership.

Makepekepe fans stepped up pressure against Mathe following the club’s 4-1 penalty shoot-out loss to ZPC Kariba in the Chibuku Super Cup first round at Rufaro Stadium last Sunday. 

Mathe began his reign at the Green Machine in June following Mark Harrison’s departure for Botswana and the team has struggled for consistency since then.

The former Bosso coach began his tenure with a goalless draw against Harare City before defeating log leaders Chicken Inn 2-0 in his second game in charge.

The reverse fixture against the Gamecocks ended goalless before losing to Harare City 1-0 in the previous league match.

This run has not pleased the club’s fans and the Green Machine hierarchy reacted by ordering Mathe to turn around United’s fortunes in the next two matches.

Sources say former Zimbabwe and Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa is earmarked to take over in the event Mathe gets the sack.

Mathe is, however, keeping a cool head amidst all this speculation around his position.

“Every time I go back on to the field I tell myself it could be my last match. I am very relaxed and focusing on our next matches,” Mathe told the Daily News yesterday after the team’s morning training session.

“The main thing is to get results with the team. The players have to be in the right condition and quickly forget about our defeat to ZPC. What is important now is to start winning games consistently.”

On their match against Flame Lilly, Mathe predicts a tough encounter but challenged his troops to start killing off matches.

“Flame Lilly are not an easy side to beat,” he said. “They are playing some good football and we need to be at our best if we are to get maximum points. Our biggest worry in the previous matches has been failure to finish off matches.

“We need to start converting our chances. We need to start winning these matches. What is crucial is how quickly we can forget about that and focus on the new game. To the players, they know CAPS is a big brand and they know what is needed from them.”

Mathe also pleaded with the fans to be patient and rally behind the team.

“My plea to the fans is that they need to have patience. They should not lose faith with the players,” he said.

“They need to keep supporting the boys and the results will come soon. It is not a secret that we need to improve.”

Flame Lilly on the other side will be eager to prove a point as they look set to avoid the chop at the end of the season. The two teams played a goalless draw in the reverse fixture at the National Sports Stadium.

Fixtures:

Saturday: Harare City v Dongo Sawmills (Rufaro Stadium), Chicken Inn v Chapungu (Luveve Stadium), FC Platinum v Hwange (Mandava Stadium), Tsholotsho v Triangle United (White City Stadium), Flame Lilly v CAPS United (Lafarge Stadium)

Sunday: Whawha v Buffaloes (Ascot Stadium), Dynamos v ZPC Kariba (Rufaro Stadium), How Mine v Highlanders (Barbourfields Stadium)

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