CAPS eager for Tsipa's return

HARARE - CAPS United are feeling the absence of striker Leonard Tsipa, who has only played one league game in the opening weekend of the 2017 season against Shabanie Mine in April.

Since then, Tsipa has struggled with recurring ankle injury that has seen him miss the entire first round of the season.

Without their veteran forward, who was the Castle Lager Premiership top goal scorer with 11 strikes last season, Makepekepe have struggled thus far as they find themselves in 16th place but they do however, have six games in hand.

The reigning champions bounced back to winning ways after a run of four defeats in five matches when they defeated ZPC Kariba 1-0 on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.

Although he did not make the match-day 18 for the match, there was a ray of hope for the Green Machine as Tsipa seems to be on the mend.

“The thing with him (Tsipa) is that he has been injured for the past six months which has been handicap for us,” Makepekepe assistant coach Tostao Kwashi said.

“Imagine losing your top scorer, we have also lost Rooney (Ronald Chitiyo) and we have also lost Abbas (Amidu).

“People need to understand these dynamics that we are losing goal scorers; people who used to change games for us.

“Any football club in the world if they lose their top goal scorer; they will feel it and we have recently lost two players that were doing well for us in the Champions League.

“We will take the challenge that we do not have three of our best target men but this is an opportunity for the other players to do well if given the chance.”

Games are now coming in thick and fast for the defending champions as they try to clear their fixture backlog but Kwashi is unfazed by the challenge.

“We just have to adapt to it; two games per week, it is the fixture list that is there,” he said.

“Like I have said before, the reward for good work is more work. We are now playing two games per week because of the good work we did last year and the progression into the mini league of the African Champions League.

“However, we need to be smart when we take up that work but we embrace it because that is the reward of football.

“In modern football that’s the way it is and we are not going to make any excuses about it. In other countries teams play maybe three games per week.”

With the team back to winning ways, Kwashi believes the Green Machine will soon climb back up the ladder and maybe try to defend their title.

“We remain united and will take it game by game without putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure,” he said.

“The journey is long and we will take it step by step. We still have 20 matches to play before the season ends and we are not going to get carried away by this victory. The next target is the game next Thursday against Tsholotsho.”

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